CPS Officials Admit Vouchers Are No Problem

April 23, 2010

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

The new Chicago Tribune editorial buries the lede in a major way.

The editors praise the Illinois House Executive Committee for passing the voucher bill 10-1. But tucked away in paragraph eight we find this little stick of dynamite:

Chicago schools would wind up with less money, but also with fewer children to educate. CPS officials tell us privately that they could handle that. [ea]

That would certainly be consistent with the large body of high-quality research consistently finding that vouchers improve rather than harm public schools, as well as with the fiscal track record that shows vouchers leave public schools with more dollars per student because their costs fall faster than their revenues.

But I don’t think I’ve ever seen public school officials admit that before, even “privately.” The public school system can handle vouchers, but it can’t handle the truth.

Yes, Vouchers Make the World Safe for Charters

February 17, 2010

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Yes, vouchers really do make the world safe for charters.

One of the follow-ups to that rockin’ IPI event in Chicago was a special-feature debate over vouchers in the Chicago Tribune.

The anti-voucher guy can’t even be bothered to rise to the usual level of non-thoughtfulness. Apparently he thinks it’s somehow a problem if taxpayer dollars even indirectly support a religious institution. Well, next time someone sets fire to a church, I guess we’d better let it burn down. Sending the fire department would be an indirect taxpayer subsidy to religion! And don’t call the cops if somebody spray-paints swastikas all over the synagogue.

But you know what’s really interesting? He gets the final word, and here’s how he chooses to end:

Is there a compromise approach? Sure. Let’s continue to expand charter school programs and try out the most innovative ideas from private schools. But let’s not give up on public education.

Vouchers make the world safe for charters.

And since vouchers are by far the best-proven way to improve public schools, it’s only a matter of time before people realize that vouchers aren’t “giving up on public education,” they’re the only serious hope for saving it.

Robert Enlow on Vouchers and School Safety

February 3, 2010

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

Robert Enlow, my boss at the Foundation for Educational Choice, writes in this morning’s Chicago Sun-Times that school vouchers are a safety issue:

When Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan visited the community in October, Holder said the Albert murder was “a call to action” and that youth violence had to come to an end…

In October, Holder said, “We are not going to protect any sacred cows. The status quo is not acceptable.” If that is truly the case, if Chicago parents, community leaders and politicians have had enough bloodshed, justice will no longer be delayed.

If you’re in Chicago Friday morning, or can be, don’t miss the big event the Illinois Policy Institute will be putting on. Rev. Senator James Meeks will be giving a barn-burner of a speech, from what I’m told. You’ll want to hear it.

(Oh, and yours truly will be on stage as well, to talk about this. But come anyway.)

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