Sunday, June 03, 2012

Thinking big.

Louisiana is privatizing their education system. It more or less is a state wide voucher system.

The 47-page bill setting up the voucher program does not outline any consequences for private schools that get poor test scores. Instead, it requires the superintendent of schools to come up with an "accountability system" by Aug. 1. Once he does, the system cannot be altered except by legislative vote.

White would not say whether he is prepared to pull vouchers from private schools that do poorly on tests.

He pointed out that many kids applying for vouchers are now enrolled in dismal public schools where two-thirds of the students can't read or do math at grade level and half will drop out before they graduate high school. Given that track record, he argues it's worth sending a portion of the roughly $3.5 billion a year the state spends on education to private schools that may have developed different ways to reach kids.

"To me, it's a moral outrage that the government would say, 'We know what's best for your child,'" White said. "Who are we to tell parents we know better?"

1 comment:

  1. And so the standardized testing that the public system so often decries will be mandatory now for the private schools for the same reason - they took the public tax money.


    "Studies of other voucher programs in the U.S. have shown mixed results.

    In Louisiana the vouchers are available to any low- to middle-income student who now attends a public school where at least 25 percent of students test below grade level"


    These two statements belong together as in the same paragraph because one explains the other. The private vouchers are rarely given to the "average" students, only (by lottery) to those from the worst academically-performing schools with the "snowball's chance" socio-economic status. I.e., they are the kids the public system doesn't want and everything they know says these kids can't make it. Who better to put on the voucher system you want to fail?

    But then they do improve. On a fraction of the cost. So what if they are a grade level behind a year later? How many were they behind before the voucher? This never gets reported in the "mixed results". This could be the reasoning behind the one school cited as only taking kindergarten students. It is a risky thing taking the money and the new customers because you have to live with their past that was formed in the (worst of the) public system. You also have to live with whatever demands are put on that public money, from now on.

    ReplyDelete

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