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Student Protesters Attack Prince Charles and Camilla

As the U.S. Senate spent yesterday striking down progressive legislation, the U.K. Parliament also tacked conservative. Students in Britain revolted.

Amidst chants of "Tory scum!" and "Off with their heads!" Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, found their Rolls-Royce smack in the middle of a student protest over Britain's rising price of college tuition. About 50 protesters swarmed their vehicle, smashing a window and dousing it in a coat of white paint.

While the U.S. Senate spent yesterday striking down progressive legislation (tabling the DREAM Act, blocking aid for 9/11 first responders, and failing to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"), the U.K. Parliament similarly tacked conservative, by voting to increase annual college tuition to approximately $14,000 a year, while simultaneously cutting government funding by an additional 80 percent. (The catch being that loans only have to be paid back if graduates go on to earn a salary of more than $34,000.)

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You're probably aware of the fact that there's a big parliamentary election taking place today in the U.K. Education reform is a hot issue amongst the leading candidates from the Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat parties. And the Tories (the familiar name for the Conservatives) are getting their ideas from the American charter school network Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP).

According to a post on The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet blog, written by an education editor at The Times of London, 93 percent of Britain's students attend state-funded schools.
The issues may sound familiar. There are lots of worries about how to raise children’s scores in the standardized tests, how to improve literacy, whether to demand that aspiring teachers have higher qualifications and whether smaller class sizes are the answer.

The Tories' plan include the creation of independent state funded schools by teachers, parents, or any other groups. It's classic "school choice"—based on a similar system in Sweden, which has taken some criticism for segregating students with assertive parents from those whose parents don't move as quickly.

The Conservatives will also allow certain schools to institute longer school days and teach classes on Saturdays to keep their students competitive with the rest of the country. These measures, according to a piece in The Guardian, were taken directly from KIPP schools.

In a speech delivered last November
, Michael Gove, the man who would become education secretary if the Tories take over, gushed about KIPP's achievements:

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