Chariho School Parents’ Forum

May 19, 2009

School choice gaining momentum

Filed under: School Choice — Editor @ 11:33 am

The most widely-read newspaper in America, the USA Today, has joined the team pushing for school choice:

Our View: Despite Success, School Choice Runs Into New Barriers
USA Today, May 19, 2009

“Few national images are more shameful than those of innocent, low-income kids milling through decrepit public schools, uncared for, unsafe and barely educated. In Washington, D.C., alone, 173 schools — 67% — fail to meet federal standards of learning.

So it was curious that when President Obama recently allowed 1,716 of Washington’s neediest schoolchildren to keep, until graduation, the vouchers they use to escape their failed public schools for higher-quality private ones, he also closed the program to new applicants. All this occurred as the Education Department reported that voucher participants show superior skills in reading, safety and orderliness. The news was buried in an impenetrable study released without a news conference.

Why the ambivalence? Because teacher unions, fearing loss of jobs, have pushed most Democrats to oppose vouchers and other options that invite competition for public schools. Put another way, they oppose giving poor parents the same choice that the president himself — along with his chief of staff and some 35% of Democrats in Congress — have made in sending their children to private schools.

Vouchers have improved the math and reading of inner-city children from Dayton, Ohio, to Charlotte, N.C., various studies show. The Washington vouchers improved the reading of girls and younger kids by about half a school year, though results for other groups were iffier. Yet opposition is so fierce that few voucher experiments survive past the seedling stage. ….” 

Click Here to Read More



  1. Hi!
    Without debating the “school choice” issue, it is interesting how the Democrats will respond to education issues, as traditionally they almost exclusively get support from the teachers unions. There are course, exceptions to the rule.
    As a Republican and an active one at that, I want to note an article on the Rhode Island GOP in the current Providence Phoenix ,. Bill Felkner’s photo and is mentioned in it. It should be noted The Ocean State Policy Reserach Institute and the Rhode Island Statewide Coalition have no formal ties with the Rhode Island GOP.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — May 19, 2009 @ 5:15 pm | Reply

  2. School Choice is the obvious answer, apparently to obvious for some.

    Comment by Tom — May 20, 2009 @ 5:26 pm | Reply

  3. Why all the fuss over school choice, the sun has risen over RI……….

    Comment by RS — May 27, 2009 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  4. RS, come back to us.

    Comment by Beneficio — May 28, 2009 @ 4:02 am | Reply

  5. WOW…..according to the Westerly Sun and Projo, the state of RI schools is excellent. I guess the less than 30% proficiency rate in Mathmatics is irrelevant.

    Comment by RS — May 28, 2009 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  6. Never a good place to put an article , but since Gay Marriage is the topic in New England (and RI is the only state so far is the following article dated 1990 the secret thought of the RI LEgislature ??) the subject of Gay rights was on the menu in

    October (23) 1990 the Article of JENKS BLASTS KENNEDY ON GAY RIGHTS VOTE, Authored by Michelle Hirsch, Sun Staff Wtiter Page 7

    Charlestown-District 16 canidate Barton Jenks critcized incumbent Rep. Brian P. Kennedy’s support of the so-called Gay Rights Bill in last year’s legislative season.

    Jenks, a Republican, syas he would have voted against this bill because he lacked proof it was necessary. The ‘real reason for gays wanting such legislation,” he claims, was not the existence of discrimination but a desire to have the legislature take a step towards legitimizing their lifestyle.”
    The bill failed by one vote in 1990 session.

    Kennedy said homosexuals deserve the same representation as other residents of the district.
    “Maybe openly you don’t see these people but they’re there and they aren’t going to go away. It concerns me Mr. Jenks would not represent this segment of our population in a fiar manner,” Kennedy said.
    Not only District 16 voters, Jenks says, “the majority of Americans feel as I do-homosexuals do not need special legislation to deal with so-called discrimination.”

    “I’m not in favor of gay bashing,”Jenks said. “I believe homosexuals should be left alone. That doesn’t mean I approve of their lifestyle.”

    Kennedy said he recieved several letters from district residents urging his support of the bill. He voted against the bill in 1989, but supported it this year after several changes had been made.

    The bill wold have made it illegal to deny homosexuals credit or “public accomdations,” which covers services like hotel rooms or meals in restaurants/

    Kennedy said the House heard testimony from people denied housing and mortages during its debates over the bill. He said homosexuals should be entitlted to the same civil rights other receive. “Why should esomeone be allowed to eat in a restuarant if he can pay for the meal?” he aked.

    Jenks claims a special law designating homosexual rights would “be one step toward legitimizing homosexuality.”
    Kennedy said he would oppose any bill which legislated approval of homosexual behavior. One of the reason he supported it this year was an added clause which clarified hat it “did not confer legislative approveal,” of homosecuality.

    This year’s bill did not include references to employment discrimination. Kennedy said he would not support a bill which made not hiring hiring homosexuals illegal.

    He said the 1990 bill claried that activities previously considered illegal-such as having sex with a minor- would still be illegal if the bill passed.

    It also contained a clause which exempted religious organizations-meaning that if a church grop did not want to include homosexuals , it would not have to, Kennedy said.

    He said these changes hsould make the mill more palatable to voters of District 16. “It’s only a matter of time before this go through,” he said. He says he thinks the concerns of ??? against it has been addressed

    Tuesday, October 23, 1990 Michelle Hirsch

    Comment by james hirst — May 29, 2009 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  7. James,
    What’s the point of your post? Perhaps I missed it because I’m not sure what you’re trying to say in the sentence prior to the article (but since Gay Marriage is the topic in New England (and RI is the only state so far is the following article dated 1990 the secret thought of the RI LEgislature ??)).

    Comment by CharihoParent — May 29, 2009 @ 10:23 am | Reply


    Planning board meeting next Wednesday, June 3 at 7 PM at the Town hall regarding proposed truck stop at Exit 1. This is very real and will happen unless you get out and voice opposition. GO GO GO GO and fight it!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by more importantly — May 29, 2009 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  9. More importantly is correct. Thanks for posting the date and time.

    Comment by Lois — May 30, 2009 @ 8:10 am | Reply

  10. I wish all the bloggers well and the fate of the Towns going forward and what Chariho was 50 years ago and its intent and what it has become.

    When time allows I will start (or hope to start) a blog as well regarding many of the issues that have made the mess the current residents are involved in.

    Be Well, tri town voters.

    Comment by james hirst — May 30, 2009 @ 7:54 pm | Reply

  11. ProJo article on Mayoral academies:

    Comment by Lois — May 31, 2009 @ 1:34 am | Reply

  12. Hi!
    Without debating the issue itself of Love’s Truck Stop, human remains are known to exist in the area. The Hopkinton Historical Cemetery #80 is located in the area. While I will not be at the meeting Wednesday evening, I have let others know about it including the Rhode Island Attorney Generals Dept. through Michael Healey of that dept.’s staff, and the Rhode Island Medical Examiners office. Leave comments on this matter for the latter at ,.
    Laws exist dealing with places known to contain human remains. At a minimum the location of the cemetery should be ascertained exactly. Hopkinton Historical Association members have been working on this. I am not speaking for them officially on this.

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 1, 2009 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  13. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international comparison of 15-year-olds conducted by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that measures applied learning and problem-solving ability. In 2006, U.S. students ranked 25th of 30 advanced nations in math and 24th in science. McKinsey & Company, in releasing its report “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools” (April 2009) said, “Several other facts paint a worrisome picture. First, the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half. In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce.” That’s a sobering thought. The longer kids are in school and the more money we spend on them, the further behind they get.

    Comment by Concerned — June 5, 2009 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  14. Newsweeks list of the top 1500 High Schools in the US. Sad to say not one RI school made the list. Where is the commentary from the NEA! Surely the means and methods used for the rankings were flawed.

    Comment by RS — June 10, 2009 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  15. You mean chariho wasn’t in the top ten? Your kidding right? I thought this was all children all the time. My kids will be disappointed. Maybe they should be will Felkners kids at St. Pius.

    Comment by Tim — June 12, 2009 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  16. I meant St. Righteous.

    Comment by Tim — June 12, 2009 @ 5:00 pm | Reply

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