Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Vice President

Chris Braunlich is a former member of the Fairfax County School Board, and vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy. The views expressed here are his own and do not necessary reflect the opinions of the Institute or its Board of Directors. He may be reached at c.Braunlich@att.net.

Written by Mr. Christian N. Braunlich

November 2011

Students Without Borders:  Funding Online Education in Virginia
Students Without Borders: Funding Online Education in Virginia — In 2010, Virginia became the 28th state to create a formal policy for the establishment of full-time multi-district virtual schools -- online education through which students anywhere in the state are able to work full-time with their teachers and curriculum over the Internet, rather than in a traditional classroom.  But equitable funding -- which is widely variable from school division to school division -- has remained a challenge.  This paper looks at virtual school funding around the country, considers the challenge of funding online education through a system designed for bricks and mortar schools within geographic boundaries, and offers a solution for Virginia policymakers.  Read It Here!

October 2011

The Jefferson Journal:  'Adequate Yearly Progress' a Poor Measure
The Jefferson Journal: 'Adequate Yearly Progress' a Poor Measure — By Chris Braunlich  Much has been made of the rising number of Virginia schools failing to meet the federal standards of "Adequate Yearly Progress" (AYP).  But is AYP a good measure of academic excellence?  The history of standards-based accountability -- and the fashion in which AYP is constructed -- suggests not.  (9/12/2011).  Read it here!

October 2011

Where Do Virginia's School Boards Stand on Improving Teacher and Principal Effectiveness Based on Performance?
Where Do Virginia's School Boards Stand on Improving Teacher and Principal Effectiveness Based on Performance? — Study after study have repeatedly demonstrated that the most important feature in improving student performance is the quality of the teacher.  So how did Virginia's local school boards when they were asked to agree to design evaluation systems that took into account student growth as a significant factor, conduct annual evaluations, and use these evaluations as a factor to help teachers in professional development and in making decisions about compensation, promotion and teacher retention?   To see the answer for your local school board, click here!

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