School Reform News Podcast

  • Private Choices & Public Hypocrisy: The Teachers Union President Controversy

    Published October 31, 2023
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    The executive president of one of the nation’s largest teachers unions is under fire for the revelation that her eldest son attends a private school. Teachers unions universally oppose school choice programs that include private schools, and in doing so they deny education opportunities to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for them to […]
  • Kids Have Never Been More Ignorant of U.S. History

    Published May 10, 2023
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    The other day, Heartland Institute Editorial Director Chris Talgo, was on the Rod Arquette Show in Salt Lake City, Utah to talk about the pathetic results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The nation’s report card found that only 13 percent of 8th graders are considered proficient in US History.    Chris is a […]
  • Education Freedom Report Card (Guest: Jonathan Butcher)

    Published October 5, 2022
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    Heartland's Tim Benson is joined by Jonathan Butcher, the Will Skillman Fellow in Education at The Heritage Foundation, to discuss Heritage's new Education Freedom Report Card. They chat about the report's methodology, which states ranked highly and which states ranked poorly, and the information and lessons it can provide both parents and policymakers.

  • Prospects for Universal School Choice in Texas (Guest: Kent Grusendorf)

    Published August 1, 2022
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    Today on the Heartland Daily Podcast, Senior Editor Joe Barnett talks with former state Rep. Kent Grusendorf, who is a long-time education reformer. They discuss the unprecedented support for universal school choice legislation and the impacts victories by parents in recent school board races has had.

    Grusendorf explains how support for school choice has never been higher. Parents want to see their dollars going towards funding their child’s education, not funding a school which fails them.

  • Critical Race Theory Suffers Defeat in Texas (Guest: Craig Ownby)

    Published July 19, 2022
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    Today on the Heartland Daily Podcast, Senior Editor Joe Barnett talks with Texas Political Consultant Craig Ownby about a recent 'nonpartisan' school board election in Mansfield, Texas that saw the election of four conservative candidates opposing leftist supporters of critical race theory. Barnett and Ownby also discuss the prospects for school choice in Texas.

  • America’s Best and Worst Metro Areas for School Quality (Guest: Adam Tyner)

    Published January 12, 2022
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    In this episode of the School Reform News podcast, Heartland’s Tim Benson is joined by Adam Tyner, associate director of research at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, to discuss Fordham’s new report, America’s Best and Worst Metro Areas for School Quality. Find out how they quantify their rankings, whether the "best" public schools have the highest achievement, which metros fared well, and which metros fared poorly.

    Check out the interactive report here:

  • Miseducation Propaganda in U.S. Schools

    Published September 8, 2021
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    Miseducation is U.S. public schools is seemingly getting worse by the day. From Howard Zinn textbooks to Critical Race Theory, our students are being fed anti-American propaganda on a daily basis. Stopping Socialism's Donald Kendal and Chris Talgo explain in this episode of "Stopping Socialism."
  • Critical Race Theory and “The Authoritarians”

    Published September 1, 2021
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    Heartland's Tim Benson is joined by constitutional and administrative lawyer Jonathan W. Emord to discuss his op-ed on critical race theory as well as his new book The Authoritarians: Their Assault on Individual Liberty, the Constitution, and Free Enterprise from the 19th Century to the Present.

  • Bring the Classics Back to Education (Guest: Morgan E. Hunter)

    Published October 20, 2020
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    With the rise of K-12 history curricula that fail to teach children about American history and the foundations of Western Civilization and often actively undermine students’ appreciation of their national heritage, the authors of a new report propose a 490 B.C. Project to redress the balance.

    Morgan E. Hunter, research fellow at the Independent Institute, joins Jenna Robinson, president at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, to discuss the shortcomings of modern education. Hunter addresses two issues. First, that teaching content, in general, has been pushed aside in favor of focusing on skills in our K-12 schools. And second, the high school history curriculum includes very little Greco-Roman history or reading in the classics.

    Read more here:

  • Why We Need School Choice (Guest: Tim Benson)

    Published September 2, 2020
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    Tm Benson explains the benefits of School Choice. Private school children are less prone to drug abuse and violence problems. Benson also talks about how tax credit programs help parents and even public schools. The conversation also veers towards the gas and oil industry and how it produces good paying jobs for non-college graduates.

  • More Education Funding Does Not Improve Education Outcomes

    Published March 16, 2020
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    Lennie Jarratt, director of the Center for Education Opportunities, was a guest on The Monica Jaye Show on 99.1FM Talk in Reno Nevada. Jaye and Jarratt discussed the Research & Commentary: More Education Funding Does Not Improve Education Outcomes. Jarratt shared how more spending does not equal better performance, the remediation required for college students, what the real effects of taxing the rich are, how money is going to support staff instead of the classroom, and the myths teachers and legislators claim education choice drains money from public schools. Jarratt and Jaye discussed how education choice is the only solution to stopping the never ending requests for more money and the anti-capitalism indoctrination happening in government run schools.

  • National Parents Union: Connecting and Supporting Parents (Guests: Keri Rodrigues and Alma Marquez)

    Published January 28, 2020
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    Education project manager Lennie Jarratt invites Keri Rodrigues and Alma Marquez, co-founders of the National Parents Union (NPU), onto this edition of the School Reform News podcast. The two discuss how parents are coming together in the NPU to ensure parents have a voice in supporting their children against the massive lobby of the teachers’ unions and those interested in the status quo. Learn about the five goals of the NPU and how you can help assist in their efforts at 

  • 55 Important Words from the Declaration of Independence (Guest: Rep. Dan Caulkins)

    Published January 22, 2020
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    Illinois Rep. Caulkins discussed the importance of the 55 words from the Declaration of Independence that he proposes should be memorized in public schools because it highlights how our rights don’t come from government with hosts Lennie Jarratt and Chris Talgo. In addition, we discuss he discussed how the “education system has lost sight of its purpose,” and how these words are a common thread for all Americans. 

    The required #55Words:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

  • Best Practices for Lawmakers on Education Choice Policy (Guest: Jason Bedrick)

    Published December 18, 2019
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    EdChoice has developed an Education Policy Toolkit that shares the best practices for lawmakers to use when creating education choice programs. Listen as Jason Bedrick, director of policy at EdChoice discuss policy scope, accountability, private school participation, testing, and which funding mechanism and implementation best practices for vouchers, education savings accounts, or tax-credit scholarships. (
  • CLT: An Alternative to the Common Core Aligned SAT and ACT (Guests: Jeremy Tate and Keith Nix)

    Published November 13, 2019
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    The Classing Learning Test (CLT) is an alternative to the Common Core aligned ACT and SAT. It is designed to be a rigorous test that measures quality of knowledge and understanding instead of being a watered down cursory review aimed at making students feel good about themselves. Jeremy Tate, president and CEO of CLT, and Keith Nix, head of the Veritas School in Richmond Virginia and CLT board member, discuss the importance of the test and the release of first Top 25 High Schools, ranked by median CLT scoring. See the list (  and learn more about the CLT (

  • West Virginia Teachers Get Paid to Skip School (Guest: Tim Benson)

    Published October 29, 2019
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    Policy Analyst Tim Benson discusses how over half of West Virginia teachers are chronically absent each school year and more than 10 percent miss more than 20 days. In essence, if students miss the same number of days parents can be fined or go to jail, while teachers continue to get paid.

    This chronic absenteeism harms students education by reducing “‘instructional intensity’ by creating ‘discontinuities of instruction.’” Test scores bear this out with “only 46 percent tested to grade level in reading, while just 39 percent did so in mathematics.” When compared to charter schools, over a third less teachers were marked with chronic absenteeism.

    For more information on this topic, visit:

  • Chicago Teacher Strike: Rewarding Failure (Guests: Tim Benson and Chris Talgo)

    Published October 23, 2019
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    The Chicago Teachers Union strike is a political gambit to reward the abject failure the CTU to educate the children of Chicago. Only about three in 10 district students are proficient in math and reading. They demand outrageous benefits such as affordable housing and a charter school moratorium. These completely skirt the democratic process around the democratic process on top of being completely unnecessary.

    If Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools cave, average teacher salary would rise to $100,000 per year, force major tax hikes with the city, and a call for a bailout from every citizen across Illinois. 

  • Rise of Socialism on Campus (Guest: Charlie Copeland of ISI)

    Published October 7, 2019
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    According to a recent Axios poll, just 40 percent of Millennials and Generation Z have a favorable opinion of capitalism, 61 percent have a positive reaction to the word “socialism,” and half say they’d prefer to live in a socialist country. This is because socialism is sold as “compassionate.” As the right thing to do. As caring about the welfare of your fellow man – especially those struggling economically. How does the right battle that false perception? How do they communicate that socialism means the surrender of your liberty?

    Despite the trends, Copeland explains why he is optimistic about the future, and why socialism does not have to be the future of America.

  • Protecting Students through Child Safety Accounts (Guest: Congressman Jim Banks)

    Published October 1, 2019
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    Congressman Jim Banks joined us to discuss his plan to make students safer in Washington DC schools, allowing them to escape bullying, violence, and unsafe schools through Child Safety Accounts (H.R. 2538). Banks talked about the Federal role in education and how he hoped this concept could be a model in the states to protect even more students. He shared how the families in his district encouraged him with their stories of what the Indiana school choice programs meant for their lives. 
  • The School Choice Roadmap (Guest: Andrew Campanella)

    Published September 25, 2019
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    Andrew Campanella, president of National School Choice Week, discusses his new book, “The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child”. Andrew discusses he wrote the book after many discussions with parents and school leaders. He explains how parents are the real experts in how their children learn and should be educated. He removed the education jargon to lay out a step by step guide for parents to empower them to make an informed decision on the best school for their child. 
  • Is there Really a Teacher Shortage? (Guest: Larry Sand)

    Published September 17, 2019
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    Larry Sand, president of the California Teachers Empowerment Network (CTEN), uses data to show overall there are more teachers today than ever.  There are some shortages in math, science, and special education areas, which he provided a solution that has proven successful in other areas of the country. The greatest impediment to this fix is the teachers unions themselves as highlighted by John Abeigon, local teachers union president in Newark, New Jersey, essentially calling merit-based-pay “evil.”
  • In The Tank – Deep Dive on Education Policy with Lennie Jarratt

    Published July 12, 2019
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    Heartland’s Donald Kendal sits down with Education Policy Expert Lennie Jarratt in the first episode of the In The Tank Podcast’s subseries “Deep Dive.” Jarratt and Kendal go in depth into the topic of education policy. Jarratt talks about the shortcomings of the public education system, the power and influence of teachers unions, and how education choice options empower parents and leads to better academic outcomes.

    Watch the interview on YouTube.



  • The Problem in Higher Education and a Solution to Restoring Their Promise

    Published June 20, 2019
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    This podcast discusses his new book Restoring the Promise: Higher Education in America. It outlines the major reasons higher education is failing to fulfilling its promise. The blame falls squarely on government intervention. In their desire to help, they have cause many unintended consequences that harm education and students. Dr. Vedder discusses these causes and proposes some solution to start correcting the problems. It all starts with getting the government out of the way.

  • No Safe Spaces (Guest: Producer Mark Joseph)

    Published June 6, 2019
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    Heartland’s Jim Lakely talks with Mark Joseph, producer of the upcoming film “No Safe Spaces,” a look at modern oppression of our free speech rights in America. The docudrama, which was shown at a special advance screening at The Heartland Institute on June 5, stars comedian Adam Corolla and national radio talk host Dennis Prager. The film also features interviews with free-speech champions from across the political spectrum, including comedian and actor Tim Allen, professor Jordan Peterson, classical liberal YouTube star David Rubin, the Hoover Institution’s Shelby Steele, self-proclaimed communist commentator Van Jones, liberal civil rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and leftist philosopher Cornel West. Lakely and Joseph talk about his career in Hollywood – including some shocking facts about The Chronicles of Narnia movie – and why this fight to protect our free speech rights on campus, in the public square, and on social media is the most important fight of the modern age.

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