Quixote, jobs, innovation, and Catholic schools

Another effort is afoot to turn Title I, at least partially, into a scholarship program for low-income kids. I’d love to see this happen. Anything we can do to create more accessible high-quality seats for disadvantaged kids gets my vote. But this windmill has seen tilting knights since the 1970s. Someday we’ll get our Dulcinea del Toboso. But the Galicians of this administration would sooner leave such plans bruised and battered.

Three very interesting job-related items!

The federal i3 program has somehow ended up being the quietest of this administration’s new competitive grant programs, seemingly always in its big sister’s shadow. Once upon a time, people debated whether Uncle Sam had any role in fostering K–12 innovation; now a substantial pot of money for those purposes garners relatively little attention. The program’s latest competition is on.

Every year, the National Catholic Education Association issues the same depressing press release: More urban Catholic schools were closed last year and the future looks grim. Ed reform has succeeded on so many fronts in the last decade—charters, accountability, educator effectiveness. But when it comes to preserving high-performing Catholic schools in inner cities—where high-performing schools of any type are so desperately needed—we’ve struck out.