The Fordham Institute has challenged a number of prominent scholars, practitioners and policy analysts to face off in a Wonkathon on Education Savings Accounts. The select group of education policy wonks includes two of our very own.
Earlier this week, we shared Dr. Matthew Ladner’s response. Today, Today we hear from, Adam Peshek, ExcelinEd’s State Policy Director of School Choice. Read an excerpt below or head over to the Fordham Institute for the complete post.
A new approach for a new era of education
By: Adam Peshek
Believe the hype. The creation of a universal education savings account (ESA) program in Nevada is the most momentous event in the history of the school choice movement. Soon, parents of all K–12 public school students in the state will have the ability to direct their children’s state education funds to the schools, programs, courses and services of their choice. Along with Arizona, Florida, Mississippi and Tennessee, nearly one million students will be eligible for an ESA in 2016. Despite their massive promise, education savings accounts require a much-needed evolution in the role of the state in education.
The challenges in implementing ESA programs will be twofold. The first will be similar to any startup: securing funds, setting up infrastructure, creating processes and workflows, etc. The second set may prove to be more difficult: getting people to understand that applying the accountability practices of the public school system to an ESA program makes as much sense as making sure that Uber has the same regulations as the taxi cab commission.
But what do we mean by accountability? After talking with people, I think the concept can be separated into three different buckets—academic, financial and the effective use of funds.… Click here to continue reading.