Arizona Supreme Court Hears Voucher Arguments

December 9, 2008

(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.