In October, The Heritage Foundation launched its new school choice Web site, available at http://www.heritage.org/schoolchoice. The site is Heritage’s one-stop shop for information on parental choice in education, including commentary, analysis, research, contacts, book reviews, and the latest news. Instead of publishing a book this year, Heritage is producing the information entirely online, which will allow for real-time updates on breaking developments in the choice world.
The site provides thorough explanations of choice alternatives such as vouchers, scholarship tax credits, charter schools, homeschooling, and open enrollment, as well as a PowerPoint presentation on the basics of educational options.
The site’s central feature is its catalogue of information on education and advances in school choice in every state and the District of Columbia, information Heritage previously had published annually in book form and updated online on an ongoing basis. The entry for each state and the District of Columbia includes public, private, and charter school demographics and NAEP test scores, as well as a narrative on pertinent federal and state legislation and judicial decisions affecting the state’s school choice laws. The narrative includes information on local efforts to promote school choice as well as contact information for state- and DC-based school choice advocates.
The Web site also provides one of the largest collections of school choice research available on the Internet, with links to studies from Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. More than 100 studies on vouchers, charter schools, and homeschooling are available.
Perhaps the most important feature of the Web site is its ability to provide immediate access to breaking school choice news around the nation. A few years ago, books that provided summaries on advances in school choice would remain current for at least a few months after their printing. Today, hardly a day goes by without news on school choice. The Heritage school choice Web site is the place to keep up-to-date.
Jonathan Butcher ([email protected]) is a research assistant for domestic policy at The Heritage Foundation.