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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The knots the pro voucher crowd ties themselves into to support vouchers

The latest pro-voucher op ed comes from James Mattox of the James Madison Institute. To read his piece click the link at the bottom.

 The knots the pro-voucher crowd has to tie themselves in can be pretty spectacular.  Take for instance the Florida legislature, they say they are for STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math), every child should have a great teacher and accountability, unless your kid takes a voucher and then none of that need apply.    

William Mattox however takes the cake.  The crux of his argument is that standardized tests drive curriculum and one size all fits curriculum are bad for education. Sentiments I completely agree with. The thing is I don’t work for the James Madison institute, like he does, which has been championing Jeb Bush’s reforms for over a decade, the centerpiece of which is standardized tests. What Mr. Mattox is attempting to do is have his cake and eat it too. Hypocrisy should know some bounds.

Furthermore why isn’t Mr. Mattox shouting from the rooftops that we get rid of those things for public education? I mean if he is passionate about kids and education, there are 2.3 million in the system Bush set up and his think tank endorsed. Why shouldn’t they get a break from the tyranny of standardized tests, why should only voucher kids get it?

Here is the real thing though, why are Mattox and the rest of the pro voucher crowd letting the good get in the way of the prefect. If vouchers are so important, if they do such good and so many kids are desperate for them, why don’t then hold their noses and accept a standardized test? Why have they fought so hard against it?

I think it because they know their house of cards will tumble and it will be found out those students who accept vouchers as a group will be doing markedly worse than their public school counterparts and why anyone should expect less. Their teachers don’t have to be certified or have any education requirements and the schools don’t have to have a recognized curriculum either. David Figilo the states voucher expert told me that there were great schools that took vouchers but also very poor ones too. Instead of making the program better all they have called for is expanding it.

Mattox and the pro voucher crowd want to blame teacher unions, and the PTA for resistance when the truth is they could have the keys to the castle if they just gave a little and they refused, even fought against it and that should tell you all you need to know.

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