(Guest post by Greg Forster)
OCPA carries my latest, in which I reply to a school district superintendent who is flogging the slogan “Public Money, Public Rules for Vouchers”:
His list of mandatory conformity for private schools includes taking exactly the same tests, which means the curriculum and pedagogy must also be the same as government schools. He demands they hire teachers on the same basis—worthless teaching certificates that are long proven to have no relationship to educational outcomes—and follow exactly the same “accountability” rules. He even demands they provide exactly the same student services and extracurricular activities.
What’s left for schools to offer parents a choice about? The school mascot?
This is like saying you support letting families decide what to eat for dinner, as long as they decide to eat hamburgers every single night. Hey, you’re free to put your choice of ketchup or mustard on them. It’s a free country! We’ll even let you put cheese on them, sometimes, provided you do it through our government-controlled cheese accountability system.
It’s time to rethink what really serves the public:
What is the public’s interest in education? Is it to ensure all children are pressed into molds, like machine parts on a factory assembly line? Or is it in the public’s interest to recognize that both human nature and the American experiment in a free and equal citizenry demand that education be answerable to parents?
One thing that’s definitely not in the public interest is “accountability” that is under the control of politicians and never holds schools accountable to anything but serving special interests….
I’ve got an “accountability” question for Deighan: According to brand-new data from the same state accountability system you’re so in love with, only 27% of students in the system you run are “proficient” or better in academic performance. Only 10% of African-American students in your system are proficient, and none—zero percent!—are above that level. When are you planning to resign?
I propose the counter-slogan “Parents’ Children, Parents’ Choice.” That’s the “public rule” that really serves the public.
Let me know what you think!