Arizona Supreme Court Hears Voucher Arguments

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

dec-2008-009

The Arizona Supreme Court heard arguments today in the case against the two voucher programs for special needs students, and for children in foster care. You can read the Arizona Republic account here.

Andrew Morrill, Vice President of the Arizona Education Association, notes in the article that public schools are “transparent.” Well, the NAEP does find that 74% of children with disabilities in Arizona public schools score below basic in 4th grade reading, which is significantly worse than the 64% nationwide average. So…Morrill has got me there, but unfortunately for him, the transparency of which he boasts reveals an appalling lack of effectiveness.

If we’d like to equal the amount of transparency for private school students, well, we will need to get the NAEP to increase the size of their private school sample. The state’s testing system…well, don’t get me started.

I had the opportunity to listen to about half of the oral arguments. I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV, so I was awfully confused by many of the assertions made by the bad guys. As it stands, plenty of Arizona students are educated at private schools at public expense and have for many years, and that is okay, so long as it is the school districts doing the choosing of private schools.

If you have the parents do the choosing, however, the ACLU would have you believe THAT, now that is unconstitutional.

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3 Responses to Arizona Supreme Court Hears Voucher Arguments

  1. Brian says:

    That Arizona republic article is not very informative. I was curious what specific legal arguements were being made, so I googled the story and found 3 or 4 other articles. None of those were very good either. I think it is possible that, while you are not a lawyer, you could do a better job than these press outlets when it comes to reporting on this.

    Only one article mentioned the ACLU. I would like to know if/how their position was any different than that of the AEA or PFAW.

  2. Greg Forster says:

    Media coverage of legal arguments is almost as bad as media coverage of statistical research, and for all the same reasons.

  3. Matthewladner says:

    This one is pretty good:

    http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/270947.php

    The argument basically boils down to whether scholarships primarily benefit students, or schools.

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