Thursday, March 30, 2017

School Vouchers' Dismal Record of Failure Comes Into Focus

School Vouchers' Dismal Record of Failure Comes Into Focus:

School Vouchers’ Dismal Record of Failure Comes Into Focus

Any lingering questions over how aggressively the Trump administration was going to pursue school privatization were answered on March 16 with the release of its FY2018-19 budget proposal. If approved by Congress, federal education programs will be slashed across the board, all to pay for an initial down payment of $1.4 billion this fiscal year on a national expansion of private school voucher programs. The eventual price tag for the program will be $20 billion annually.
It doesn’t matter how their proponents try to disguise them – education savings accounts, tuition tax credits, opportunity scholarships – vouchers are destructive and misguided schemes that use taxpayer dollars to “experiment with our children’s education without any evidence of real, lasting positive results,” says NEA President Lily Eskelsen García,
That was also the consensus of a panel of experts who convened recently at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive think tank based in Washington D.C, to explore the implications of the Trump-DeVos privatization agenda. The discussion focused on three ways school vouchers pose a danger to the nation’s most vulnerable students, which were identified by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in a memo to her Senate colleagues and summarized in her keynote remarks.

Vouchers Help Private Schools Skirt Accountability and Transparency

Strong accountability measures help prevent students from falling through the cracks.  “We fly blind without the information we need to make sure our students are succeeding,” said Murray. “We strive to make accountability as effective as possible. ‘Unfortunately that system breaks down completely when it comes to public money going to private schools.”
Unlike public schools, private schools have almost complete autonomy with regard to how they operate: who they teach, what they teach, how they teach, how — if at all — they measure student achievement, how they manage their finances, and what they are required to disclose to parents and the public.

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