Trying not to trip over the changes afoot

North Carolina’s new budget, passed late Wednesday night and headed to Governor McCrory, has carved out dollars for a voucher program for low-income students, phases out teacher tenure, and ends the practice of raising teacher pay based solely on possession of advanced degrees. Earlier this week, Tarheel state’s lawmakers also approved a voucher program that will allot $3,000 per semester for special-education students who wish to attend private school. As in the days of Jim Hunt, it looks like North Carolina is back in the front rank of school-reform states.

In a new Brown Center Chalkboard post, scholars Russ Whitehurst and David Armor contend that advocates of Obama’s Preschool for All proposal have based their support on faulty research. They note that gold-standard studies have, thus far, not shown major impacts from large-scale pre-K programs, and urge Obama to proceed with demonstration projects rather than replicate the failures of vast endeavors like Head Start.

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