Friday, May 19, 2017

Lessons From The Nation's Oldest Voucher Program : NPR Ed : NPR

Lessons From The Nation's Oldest Voucher Program : NPR Ed : NPR:

Lessons From The Nation's Oldest Voucher Program

Image result for big education ape Milwaukee

Milwaukee has the nation's longest-running publicly funded voucher program.
For 27 years it has targeted African-American kids from low-income families, children who otherwise could not afford the tuition at a private or religious school.
The vouchers are issued by what's known as the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Some some see vouchers as a beacon of hope in a public school district where student achievement lags far behind the state average, and where only 20 percent of students are proficient in English language arts and fewer than 15 percent in math.
Others say the program is a failed experiment that has siphoned away money desperately needed by the city's struggling schools.
As part of our reporting on vouchers around the country, and to get a look at the program as it stands today, we visited several schools in the voucher program.
Texas Bufkin Christian Academy has operated for 16 years. It occupies an old building that once housed a nursing home. The school's founder, Texas Bufkin, is wary of visitors, especially reporters.
"We don't let people from the media in our building," says Bufkin. Why? I ask. "Because I just don't feel like I need to talk to reporters." Eventually, I'm allowed inside but, Bufkin says, just for a few minutes.
Of the 121 private and religious schools in Milwaukee's voucher program, this is the lowest-performing, according to state education officials.
All of the 94 students enrolled from pre-K to 12th grade are African-American, Lessons From The Nation's Oldest Voucher Program : NPR Ed : NPR:

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