Attack of the Killer Vouchers!

Bruegel’s “The Triumph of Vouchers”

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Yesterday we learned about the horrible massacre of the innocents in Milwaukee Public Schools. Confronted with evidence showing substantially higher graduation rates in private schools participating in the city’s voucher program than in public schools, a public school official cited “mortality” as an excuse.

No doubt it won’t be long before they announce that Milwaukee public school students are dying in such large numbers because of the voucher program!

You doubt it? The journal Environmental Science and Technology has already published an article – carefully peer reviewed using the same totally neutral and non-corrupted system they use for all the other climate science – finding that school vouchers cause global warming. You see, vouchers irresponsibly permit parents to choose whether and how far to drive their students to school, thus recklessly increasing the levels of the dangerous chemical globalwarmic hysteriphate in the atmosphere, further sapping the purity of our precious, precious bodily fluids.

And since it’s already an established scientific fact that global warming causes everything bad, it follows as night follows day that vouchers, by causing global warming, cause mortality in Milwaukee public schools.

Now if only we could find a way to protect our children from this threat . . . if only there were an education policy that were proven to improve school safety by moving students from less safe schools into more safe schools. Hmmm…

HT Dan Lips

8 Responses to Attack of the Killer Vouchers!

  1. Daniel Earley says:

    If peers were angels, no skeptics would be necessary. If angels were to govern scientists, neither external nor internal controls on peer review would be necessary. In framing a peer review process which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the peer review process to control the scientists; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the free people in the media and elsewhere who remain skeptical is, no doubt, the primary control on the peer review process; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

    James Madison (with only minor tweaking by myself)

  2. todd says:

    Was there something wrong with the Environmental Science and Technology article? As far as I can tell, it seems to have sound methodology. Discounting it by same vague claims about global warming hardly makes your case that we should be concerned with ‘evidence.’ Neither does suggesting someone attributed the graduation rate difference to merely mortality.

  3. Stuart Buck says:

    Well, it doesn’t seem very plausible that enough Milwaukee public school kids are getting killed that it would affect the graduation rate that much; but if that IS the case, then what does that say about MPS schools?

  4. Greg Forster says:

    I think Donald Boudreaux of GMU aptly summarizes the problem with the EST article in the open letter that he wrote to the authors:

    You suggest that policies to enhance school choice not be adopted unless and until they pass environmental muster. Your insight is a real eye-opener, with implications far beyond the narrow issue of K-12 school choice!

    For example, why limit your study to proposals for K-12 educational choice? Too many young men and women who leave home to attend college surely commute too far – some actually going across the country! – thus poisoning everyone’s lungs in their selfish quest to attend the colleges of their choice. Your research will likely discover that it’s best to prohibit Americans from attending colleges far from home.

    And why stop with education? Perhaps your next study can be on the environmental impact of supermarket choice. After all, with people free to drive wherever they wish to buy groceries, it’s almost certainly the case that too many of us drive hither and yon unnecessarily, wasting our time and fouling the air. I’ll bet that your research will show that restricting each American to shopping only at that supermarket nearest his or her home will reduce vehicular emissions and, hence, help the environment.

    Indeed, the possibilities suggested by your research are infinite. No telling how much filth is spit into our environment everyday by people needlessly driving to churches, restaurants, shopping malls, physicians’ offices, night clubs – even friends’ homes – when they could easily go to churches, restaurants, etc. – and even to the homes of friends – who are located closer to their where they live.

    I look forward to reading your follow-up research.

    HT Dan Lips again.

  5. Patrick says:

    I wonder what the authors’ response to that was. Amazing.

  6. Stuart Buck says:

    By the way, wasn’t the article about interdistrict and other public school choice? I don’t see vouchers or charter schools mentioned expressly, although they almost surely involve more parental transportation overall.

  7. Daniel Earley says:

    Interestingly, the EST study failed to consider the carbon offset from kids choosing to calmly walk to school (or ride with parents) as opposed to the “running” required when traversing the less savory neighborhoods of a large metropolis. While less carbon-efficient than walking, running does, however, yield a health benefit that may reduce the mortality variable in the other study. Then again, mortality also reduces the carbon footprint, so it may be a wash. I’m just pleased to see researchers reducing the value of a child to economic and environmental terms we can finally master-plan!

    Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili (if he were alive)

  8. todd says:

    “I think Donald Boudreaux of GMU aptly summarizes the problem with the EST article in the open letter that he wrote to the authors:
    You suggest that policies to enhance school choice not be adopted unless and until they pass environmental muster”

    Interesting since the authors of the study say nothing of the sort. If you find Boudreaux’s silly snark convincing then too bad for you, it certainly isn’t a valid criticism of the study.

    The authors seem quite open about the fact they are only looking at the environmental impact and disclose what they think are shortcomings with their data and the applicability to other areas. Finding what might be the impact on transportation costs and pollution of different policies or choices hardly seems like a ridiculous project, unless you are simply opposed to even asking the question.

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