CF’s work in education focuses on promoting opportunity and improving children’s lives though incentive-based reforms. Instead of repeating the failed attempts to reform education through new rules or additional funding, such reforms use competition to improve education. Incentive-based reforms include providing choice within the public school system through charter schools and cyber schools, providing families with private school options through vouchers or tax credit-funded scholarships, and measuring and rewarding success in education for both schools and teachers. Only when parents have are able to choose the best school for their child, have an abundance of educational choices and ample information, and schools are forced to compete for students will we provide the best education to Pennsylvania’s youth.
Education can and should be America's newest civil rights issue. Today, too many schools are failing too many children. The system is broken, and access to a quality education is largely the province of the wealthy, of those who can afford to opt out of failing government schools in favor of better optio
The Matunis girls are just two of some 32,000 students statewide who are thriving at cyber schools. New legislation unveiled in Harrisburg, however, could do serious damage to cyber schools, hampering their ability
The holidays are a great time to be grateful for the gifts we've received. And, as we remember well, fallen Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed that some Americans have received "gifts" in the form of handouts from the government.
Recent Blog Posts
Hannah Tuffy, 20, is one of the first cyber school students to be accepted at the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The accomplished Scranton native credits her success to the flexible program she enjoyed at cyber school, which allowed her to excel academically while creating room for college classes, work and soccer. Her dream is to study biomechanical engineering and become an Apache pilot. Watch Hannah explain how cyber school prepared her for a successful military career.
Did you know that Pennsylvania’s cyber schools account for barely 1 percent of the state’s education budget? Despite this fact, legislation is in the works right now to slash what some call "excess funding" for cyber schools. Learn more at CyberSchoolsSave.org to find out how you can help us protect cyber school funding and keep kids like Hannah learning.
Hannah and Alyssa will tell you that the freedom to choose a school that works for them was essential to their academic success. They are just two of the 32,000 students across the nation enrolled in cyber schools. But you don’t have to take their word for it. Now, there is new research backing the academic benefits of school choice, specifically voucher programs.
A new report from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice found that children and families who utilize school vouchers achieve better educational outcomes. According to "A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Choice," 11 out of 12 "gold standard" studies showed that students excel with school choice vouchers, and none suffer when they chose educational options outside of the public school realm.
The report also found that 22 out of 23 studies on how school choice impacts public education showed that competition actually improved public school performance. No research concluded that school choice harms public schools.
The Friedman Foundation also reviewed empirical research related to the impact school choice has on taxpayers, diversity and civic values. Research consistently supports school choice in those areas.
Despite decades of carping by skeptics, vouchers and school choice in any form are a win-win for children—whether they attend private school or remain in a public school affected by school choice, said Robert Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Competition works in all segments of our society, and it certainly helps children when they’re permitted to attend a school that fits their needs.
Pennsylvanians don't have to look far to see school choice at work. Last week, kids and parents celebrated the 12th anniversary of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. The program has allowed hundreds of thousands of children to escape failing schools while saving taxpayers millions of dollars.
In the past two years, five new states have adopted private school choice, and other states have expanded their school choice options, including the Pennsylvania's Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit—a lifeline for kids trapped in violent and failing schools.
posted by AMY CLINGENSMITH MONGIOVI | 10:44 AM | Comments
Stephen Frank was a cheerful young student with an enthusiasm for learning and an interest in football. Not long into his first year of middle school at his traditional public school, however, there was a change in his attitude. He became humorless, lethargic, and withdrawn.
After losing 40 pounds to an eating disorder, the problem became clear: bullying.
Stephen's mother, Monica, contacted the school's vice principal and guidance counselor but found no one willing or able to help protect her son. As Stephen's condition became more desperate, Monica decided to look beyond the traditional school setting to find a solution.
Luckily, Monica is a cyber school teacher and was confident in the academic rigor and supportive environment offered by these public schools. Stephen has now been attending 21st Century Cyber School for a year and the difference is stark. He is happy, full of life, and is on the distinguished honor roll every quarter. Most of all, he is safe.
Today is the seventh annual Day on the Hill for public charter and cyber charter schools sponsored by our friends at pacyberfamilies.org and pacharters.org. It's when families like the Franks—who now number in the thousands across Pennsylvania—come to Harrisburg to show how cyber schools have saved them.
In the end, Monica learned that parents have choices, even if traditional schools don't offer them. You can read the Franks' full story here. And if you couldn't make it to the state capitol today, visit CyberSchoolsSave.org. Sign up, send a letter to your legislators in support of cyber schools, and help maintain a safe alternative to traditional schools for kids like Stephen.
Who are We?
The Commonwealth Foundation is Pennsylvania's free-market think tank. The Commonwealth Foundation crafts free-market policies, convinces Pennsylvanians of their benefits, and counters attacks on liberty.
Hannah Tuffy, 20, is one of the first cyber school students to be accepted at the prestigious U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The accomplished Scranton native credits her success to the flexible program she enjoyed at cyber school, which allowed her to excel academically while creating room for ...