Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Vouchers fail -- observations from one who knows

The Sutherland Institute issued a news release today about another so-called "study" they've done on the "virtue of vouchers" (see the release here; it explains the "research" although no research paper is pro-offered).

Said "research" supposedly shows that voucher schools do a better job for "those who need vouchers the most." (i.e. supposedly a reference to low-income, mostly minority children)

(BTW: I am sure that Sutherland didn't expend any money doing the "research" or promoting the "research". If they had, they should register as a PIC.)

At the same time, a heartfelt and compelling column appeared in the Madison, WI Capital Times. The Milwaukee, WI program is one that Sutherland glows about, but one that a watchful Wisconsin resident believes is an utter failure.

Joel McNally, weekly columnist, decries the fact that in Wisconsin the achievement gap between African-American students and white students is wider than any other state in the nation. He is bothered by the test results and puts the blame squarely on....vouchers.

"If any political leaders really cared, they would advocate pulling the plug on a 17-year failed experiment that appears to be doing more harm than good, producing the lowest reading scores in the nation.

"Then we could put those millions of dollars into Wisconsin public school classrooms, where they are desperately needed to teach the overwhelming majority of black students how to read."

You can read his full column here.

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