Parent Power In Education
Special Report - September 25, 2012
The Center for Education Reform has released an interactive website of its Parent Power Index, which scores states based on the ability of parents to exercise choice in education. Released on September 17, “The Parent Power Index (PPI) measures the ability in each state of a parent to exercise choices no matter what their income or child’s level of academic achievement engage with their local school and board, and have a voice in the systems that surround their child.” The report first appeared in 1999, when CER first introduced Parent Power! as a quarterly magazine.
The Parent Power Index considers a state’s educational environment on the basis of five elements: Charter Schools, School Choice, Teacher Quality, Transparency, and Online Learning. The Index also points out that there are three factors that play a role in the level of parent power in a state, despite the decision to not include them in the Index’s scoring formula. Those factors are whether a state has a Parent Trigger Law, which provides parents and educators the opportunity to turn around failing schools, whether the governor is supportive of educational reforms to offer parents more power in educational decisions, and how reliably the media covers education issues with honesty and balance.
North Carolina ranked 31st in Parent Power with a 64.4 percent score. The Index calls out North Carolina’s “mediocre charter law” that stunted growth, so that parent demand was left unmet until the arbitrary cap on the number of charter schools allowed to operate was recently removed. Additionally, the report points to the “very restrictive” nature of the remaining charter school law, and a lack of support among state leadership “for more quality charter schools.” While recognizing the benefits for parent power in a new tax credit for parents of special-needs students to seek other educational opportunities, the Index laments the State’s “struggles with teacher quality and digital learning.” Teacher quality represents another area ripe for improvement, according to the report. It highlights the State’s emphasis on “seniority and advanced degrees,” rather than “teacher effectiveness.” Despite easily accessible school performance data, a lack “of information about options like charter schools or the tax credit for students with disabilities” also hurt North Carolina’s score.
Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Arizona, and the District of Columbia received the highest scores, each coming in at or above 77 percent.
“This report reiterates what school choice advocates in North Carolina, including the North Carolina Family Policy Council, have long notedNorth Carolina started a good trend toward parent control over the educational decisions for their individual children 15 years ago, but has mostly sputtered and stalled since,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We will continue to work to free parents to more easily take on their role as the primary educators of their children by advocating for public policy that affords parents more options in educational opportunities for their children and that puts more of the power to make those decisions back in the hands of parents.”
NC Voters Support School Choice - September 20, 2012
25 New Charter Schools Approved - September 10, 2012
NC Supporters Support Charter Schools - July 19, 2012
Moms Support School Vouchers - May 22, 2012
School Choice Lowers Crime - April 5, 2012
Record School Choice Expansion - January 30, 2012
NC Voters Support Charter Schools - July 19, 2012
Positive Charter School Closings - December 22, 2011
SBOE Approves Charter Fast Track - September 2, 2011
Charter School Checkmate - FNC - July 2010
Charter School Myths Debunked - January 7, 2010
Charter Schools Close Achievement Gap - October 5, 2009
Charter Schools Have Financial Benefits - November 7, 2008
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