Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

July 18, 2006

Vouchers for students in failing public schools

ABC News: Republicans Unveil School Voucher Plan:

Congressional Republicans on Tuesday proposed a $100 million plan to let poor children leave struggling schools and attend private schools at public expense.

Do they have to prove the schools they are going to are not struggling either?

ABC News: Republicans Unveil School Voucher Plan:

“Momentum is on our side,” said Rep. Howard McKeon, R-Calif., the chairman of the House education committee.The Bush administration requested the school-choice plan, but Tuesday’s media event caused some awkwardness for the Education Department. The agency just released a study that raises questions about whether private schools offer any advantage over public ones.

Gosh, you think?

ABC News: Republicans Unveil School Voucher Plan:

The study had many caveats and warned that its own comparisons had “modest utility.”

And from the summaries, I believe that “modest utility” was in comparing how well poor and minority students do in public versus private school.

ABC News: Republicans Unveil School Voucher Plan:

Spellings said she first learned about the study one produced by the Education Department’s research arm by reading about it in the newspaper. She said the agency must improve the way it releases such reports. But she rejected any suggestion that the department buried the study because it put public schools in a favorable light compared to private ones

You know, I actually believe her on this one. I figure that if she actually knew about the report and it’s contents, it wouldn’t have been released at all. The low key release could have been the cover needed by officials in the Ed department who wanted to see it get released somehow, someway. Of course, well never know.

ABC News: Republicans Unveil School Voucher Plan:

So far, Congress has refused to approve Bush’s national voucher proposals. The new one is the first to target money for kids in schools that have fallen short under federal law.

Once again, this administration has found a way to combine the worst aspects of an issue to create absolutely horrible policy. The government will give money to parents who’s children are in failing schools but makes no requirement that they spend the money in more successful schools. And private schools are not part of NCLB. So it’s okay for people to spend public money at failing schools as long as they are private schools? This seems to me to be the perfect setup for introducing NCLB to any school that accepts public money. Nah, that would just be adding another layer of un-needed bureaucracy since everyone knows how much better private schools are.

I still don’t know the name of the study. I bet it would get a lot more press if it had an official name.

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