In this week’s Public School Forum of NC Propaganda Weekly, I mean Friday Report, there is an article titled “Brookings Report on the Negative Effects of Vouchers”, referencing a Brookings Institute study of how test scores for students in State Voucher Programs are reported to be losing ground to kids who remain in public schools. As someone who has watched, and learned, the tricks of the government school educrats who work relentlessly to protect their taxpayer-funded monopoly, this study raised my suspicions. You first have to understand that the government educrat is more defensive than a cornered mother bear protecting her cub, the government school, when anything is said about “school choice.”
So, in the inverse, you can be sure that the folks at the Public School Forum of NC are absolutely thrilled to see anything suggesting that the government school could be superior to any alternative, which explains their headline. But upon the actual reading of the study, the point of their headline, “Negative Effects”, seems to be a little, no, a lot over the top. The study says more than anything else that the data at this point is “inconclusive”. To quote from the summary of the study, “More needs to be known about long-term outcomes from these recently implemented voucher programs to make the case that they are a good or bad investment of public funds.”
But there were some interesting little tidbits I gleaned from reading the study. Like this one, “In Louisiana, a public school student who was average in math (at the 50th percentile) and began attending a private school using a voucher declined to the 34th percentile after one year. If that student was in third, fourth, or fifth grade, the decline was steeper, to the 26th percentile.” So, my question about this is directed at the “third, fourth or fifth grade”, and the “after one year” comment. I have to ask if this reflects on the now 3+-year implementation of Common Core Standards and the damage that this is causing to the children’s basic math skills? Are the basic skills already so disrupted to where, at the start of the time in the voucher program, there is already a need to start “re-teaching” the child basic skills, to get them back to a base to work from going forward?
Then there’s the question of “the test” and the method. As many of us who have been involved in the fight to Stop Common Core from destroying the next generation of children, we have learned that the NAEP test (National Assessment of Educational Progress), used as the basis of this study, have been directly designed to accommodate Common Core. As many know, or may not know, one of the pushes for voucher school choice programs is to allow children to escape from the now known disaster that is Common Core. Am I the only one who sees the problem here? Wouldn’t it make better sense to use an assessment/achievement test designed in accordance with the curricula used in a particular school? Hmm, could this be why the idea of “one size fits all” education is a flawed premise to start with? I thought the purpose of a test was to measure a child’s achievement and thinking skills, not if they excel in learning what to think as provided by the educrats.
And last, but not least, why is it that the educrats are only ever evaluated by anyone except other educrats? Is there any other “industry” in this world today that is only evaluated by its own members? Now, there are people who will argue that educrats are always under evaluation by government and legislators. Have you ever been to a legislative education oversight hearing? I have. Do you know who every “expert” witness or presenter is at those types of hearings? If you guessed higher-level educrats, you would be correct. It is usually the PhD Education Professor who has been the author of multiple “peer reviewed” papers or studies on the particular subject related to education being evaluated. As a person who has spent my entire professional life in the world of industrial manufacturing, I know that this kind of “inside baseball” has never been acceptable. There are more independent “alphabet” Standards and Practices Organizations, which police and evaluate every piece of the manufacturing process. We must break this cycle of those who are damaging the product, our children, who are the educrats being the ones who evaluate their own.
So, what’s the take away from this? One is that we must always look beyond the headline when the educrats are the ones writing the headline. Two is that we must break the “educrats evaluating educrats” death spiral of government education. It’s one thing that really is “For the children”.