Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Numbers Are Stark: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Trump-DeVos Plans to Turn Education into One Big Voucher System | Alternet

The Numbers Are Stark: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Trump-DeVos Plans to Turn Education into One Big Voucher System | Alternet:

The Numbers Are Stark: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Trump-DeVos Plans to Turn Education into One Big Voucher System

"We’ve been doing it for 25 years and the places that have adopted... vouchers have seen no gains.”

Image result for big education ape trump devos
Image result for big education ape trump devos


President Donald J. Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may think private school voucher schemes are an education panacea, but past federal education officials – including those who worked for conservative administrations – are less optimistic.
“If you try something and it’s experimental, and the experiment doesn’t work, why would you want to do it again and again and again?” Diane Ravitch, who served as assistant secretary of education under former President George H.W. Bush, asked during a speech in Texas in late March. “That’s what we’re doing now with . . . vouchers.”
Ravitch, who writes extensively about education issues on her eponymous blog, told the gathering of Friends of Texas Public Schools that she once supported the concept of vouchers until the results started coming in that the programs weren’t improving education.
“We now have this very strong ideological interest in school choice as an answer,” Ravitch said. But “we have a lot of research about school choice. This is not a new subject any more. We’ve been doing it for 25 years and the places that have adopted . . . vouchers have seen no gains.”
Chester E. Finn Jr., who served in Ronald Reagan’s Department of Education and is a past president of the pro-voucher education think tank Thomas B. Fordham Institute, admitted recently on the institute’s Flypaper blog that vouchers are unlikely to be useful for people who live in rural areas – a demographic that overwhelmingly went for Trump in November’s election.
“Choice, save for the virtual kind, is harder to make work in spread out suburbs, small towns, and rural areas, where one seldom has workable access to multiple schools,” Finn wrote. “I strongly suspect that most Trump voters with kids – to the extent that education is on their minds – are chiefly interested in having their current schools work better, ensure a decent and prosperous future for their students, including readiness for real jobs.”
Ravitch and Finn bring up two of the numerous reasons that the National Coalition for Public Education cites for opposing school voucher schemes: They don’t significantly improve academic outcomes for students – and in some cases voucher students perform worse than their public school peers – and voucher programs are likely to do great harm to the country’s rural school districts.
NCPE, a partnership of education, civic, civil rights and religious organizations that Americans United co-chairs, enumerates nearly a dozen reasons to oppose vouchers: depriving students of their civil rights, lacking accountability, using The Numbers Are Stark: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Trump-DeVos Plans to Turn Education into One Big Voucher System | Alternet:
Image result for big education ape trump devos


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