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The Source: Education In America

Flickr user Bill Selak

In the first segment:

The debate over vouchers is heating up on the national level with proposed legislation, "The Scholarship for Kids Act of 2014" to give federal dollars to students opting out of public school. School choice is the best way for underserved communities to get a good education, say conservatives pushing this legislation.

San Antonio's Edgewood ISD participated in a 10-year voucher program, giving any student that wanted it the ability to go to any nearby private school. It was funded by the Children's Education Opportunity fund.  UTSA Professor and editor of the Journal of School Choice John Merrifield joins us.

Charter schools are just one portion of the school choice debate. Charter schools are able to innovate, educate and experiment in ways that traditional public schools aren’t and their track record has both its successes and failures in the more than 20 years of their existence. According to Texas Education Agency officials there is an overrepresentation in both the best schools in the state and the worst.

Also joining us is Ron Zimmer, Vanderbilt professor and co-editor of a special edition of the Economics of Education Review that looked at the history of charter schools in America.

In the second segment:


From vouchers to charter schools to common core, author and education policy analyst Diane Ravitch, who is the former assistant secretary of education, has written about the foremost education topics of the day. Her new book “Reign of Error” talks about the dangers of privatizing public schools. She has also questioned the usefulness of common-core curriculum

We talk to Ravitch about which policies she believes are worthwhile and which should be avoided.

*The Source airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1FM -- audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org