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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Slammed by ReDefined Ed

I was slammed by the pro-privitization blog in an op-ed in the Pensecola News Journal. The link is their piece and below that is my repsonce.

The problem with school choice isn’t that choice is bad; it’s the choices that Ron Mattus of Step up for Students and the pro-choice crowd want us to have.

At the beginning of the legislative session, voucher proponents were basically offered the key to the treasury if they would have just accepted some legitimate accountability measures but instead of taking hundreds of millions more to help the students they claim are desperate for vouchers, voucher proponents fought tooth and nail against them.

I believe they fought against it because they knew if they had to have stringent accountability measures, vouchers would have collapsed like a house of cards and to be honest why would we expect any less. Teachers at private schools don’t have to be certified let alone have degrees and their curriculums don’t have to be recognized.

You should be asking yourself why is
accountability only for public schools, not for private schools that take public money? Mattus says, oh but they take a test. Well if he is so confident, if it is basically the same thing, then why doesn’t he insist they take the same test? This seems like a small price to pay to help so many more students.

Then I had an actual conversation with David Figilo, charged with analyzing the voucher program and he said, Chris there are some great schools that take vouchers, mostly religious schools, but there are some really lousy ones too.

Even if we ignore the blurring of the line between church and state that must draw a shoulder shrug from Mattus, who just wants to expand the program, saying parents and the free market will sort it out. 

I could have went line by line and debunked Mattus’s assertions but I think the bottom line is he and his group would have you believe choice just for choices sake is the right choice. I however, with resources being so scarce and the outcome so important would prefer we did things the right way and made sure every choice was a high quality choice and I guess that is where the distinction between us lies.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher 

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