School & District Management News in Brief

Friedman Foundation Picks Leader

By Michele McNeil — July 28, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The founder and chairman of the Internet shopping site is the new co-chairman of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, an Indianapolis-based school choice advocacy group.

Patrick M. Byrne, who helped spearhead an unsuccessful effort to bring vouchers to Utah, will take on a more prominent role in the national school choice movement with his new position.

Utah voters last November approved a ballot measure overturning the nation’s first universal voucher law, approved earlier in the year by the state legislature. (“Utah’s Vote Raises Bar on Choice,” Nov. 14, 2007.)

But Mr. Byrne said the movement is still charging ahead, and that there’s much work to do.

“Reforming education is the most important issue facing this country,” Mr. Byrne said in an interview. The key to reform, he argued, is getting government out of the way and letting the free market, through competition, improve schools and weed out bad ones.

Mr. Byrne said he’s still figuring out how best to use his new role to advance the cause. He doesn’t expect to become the chief spokesman, but instead someone who supports and pushes for good research and advocacy, though not political campaigns.

The Friedman Foundation notes that when it started in 1996, five states had five voucher or similar programs for school choice. Now, 14 states have 24 programs.

“With Patrick on board, I expect this number to skyrocket,” Gordon St. Angelo, the president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation, said in a statement.

Mr. Byrne said he and the foundation are looking to Florida. Voters there will consider a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would help reinstate a voucher program for students in low-performing schools that earlier was struck down by the state supreme court.

In addition to being a school choice proponent, Mr. Byrne was an early supporter of the “65 percent solution,” a school funding strategy requiring that percentage of money to flow directly into the classroom.

A version of this article appeared in the July 30, 2008 edition of Education Week


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Boost Student Mental Health and Motivation With Data-Driven SEL
Improve student well-being and motivation with a personalized, data-driven SEL program.
Content provided by EmpowerU Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Women Get Overlooked for the Superintendent's Job. How That Can Change
3 female superintendents spell out concrete solutions from their own experience.
4 min read
Susana Cordova, former superintendent for Denver Public Schools.
Susana Cordova is deputy superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District and former superintendent for Denver Public Schools.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week
School & District Management Opinion You Can't Change Schools Without Changing Yourself First
Education leaders have been under too much stress keeping up with day-to-day crises to make the sweeping changes schools really need.
Renee Owen
5 min read
conceptual illustration of a paper boat transforming into an origami bird before falling off a cliff
School & District Management Opinion Principals Are Running Scared. Here's How to Steady Them
Mentorship is an old idea with new currency, write the authors of a recent book on helping school leaders thrive.
Phyllis Gimbel & Peter Gow
5 min read
Illustration of a hand holding a flashlight to help guide a person out of a dark space
School & District Management Opinion Rethinking Talent, Technology, and the Shape of Post-Pandemic Schooling
The disruption born of this once-in-a-century pandemic could yield a once-in-a-century opportunity to rethink K-12 schooling.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty