John Bicknell -

John Bicknell is executive editor of He is a veteran editor and has worked in journalism for more than 30 years. He came to Washington in 1999 as an editor at Congressional Quarterly and held several positions at CQ and Roll Call. He is the author of "America 1844: Religious Fervor, Westward Expansion and the Presidential Election That Transformed the Nation." His next book, scheduled to be published in 2017, is on John C. Fremont's 1856 presidential campaign. John also served as senior editor of the 2016 edition of “The Almanac of American Politics.” He can be reached on Twitter @JohnBick1960 and by email at

Montana Democrats split on charter schools

By   /  February 17, 2017  /  Education Blog, Montana  /  No Comments

A Montana Democratic state representative wants a statewide charter school system, but  the Democratic governor does not appear to be on board. Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy introduced legislation to set up a seven-member commission to run the system. But Siri Smillie, an education policy adviser to Gov. Steve Bullock, testified against the bill at a House […]

Read More →

School choice national: A federal tax credit scholarship program?

By   /  February 16, 2017  /  Education Blog, Federal government  /  No Comments

Conservatives generally prefer that the federal government lay as soft a hand as possible on education policy. But some are getting behind the idea of a federal tax credit scholarship program. The idea has worked well on a smaller scale — 17 states have some form of the program, which allows individuals and corporations to […]

Read More →

More spending v. more charter schools

By   /  February 15, 2017  /  Education Blog  /  No Comments

When it comes to improving education, money matters — but charter schools matter more. “When it comes to test scores, urban charters are a much more efficient policy intervention than increased educational funding,” argues Neerav Kingsland, senior education fellow at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Kingsland also points to studies that show similar long-term […]

Read More →

Arizona looks to expand private-school choice to all students

By   /  February 15, 2017  /  Arizona, Education Blog  /  No Comments

Arizona has taken the next step toward expanding school choice, with the full state Senate set to consider a bill that would make all students in the state eligible for private-school choice. Legislation by state Sen. Debbie Lesko would expand the existing Empowerment Scholarship program, which currently covers students with disabilities, at schools with a  D or F […]

Read More →

Beating ‘civics-ignorant millennial parents’ to the punch

By   /  February 14, 2017  /  Education Blog  /  No Comments

Education policy analyst Inez Feltscher argues that school choice has become an existential necessity. “Educational choice can no longer remain a side issue if America is to remain a constitutional republic, recognizable to those who founded it,” she writes. And reformers better hurry, because demographics are not on their side. “The challenge for education reformers […]

Read More →

A legislative roundup of school choice proposals

By   /  February 14, 2017  /  Arizona, Arkansas, Education Blog, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, Texas  /  No Comments

Education Week reports on the wide range of states that are considering expanding school choice in their 2017 legislative sessions, and on a couple where opponents are trying to roll back the clock. EdWeek cites Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri and Texas as prime targets of opportunity for reformers. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Nevada are trying to rollback […]

Read More →