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Vouchers, who cares if there is no accountability? Not the Florida conference of Catholic Bishops anyways.

Somebody who benefits from vouchers says vouchers are great. Facepalm!

You know what gets me about the guys that support vouchers? It’s that they are so insulting. They think if they can use some flowery rhetoric the community will just go, yeah, who cares if voucher schools have scant academic and financial accountability, the teachers at them teach students not subjects, like they do at St. Andrew Catholic School in Pine Hills.

Saying how his school teaches students not subjects is how James B. Herzog the associate director for education at the Florida Conference for Catholic Bishops, an organization that greatly benefits from vouchers started his pro-voucher piece.

Let’s just completely ignore how vouchers, even the back door method Florida uses, obliterates the first amendment and force citizens to support religion and instead let’s just focus on the lack of accountability that they have.   

Mr. Herzog goes on to say that parents benefit when they have more options, well I wonder how the thousands and thousands of students whose parents enrolled their children in charter schools that subsequently failed feel about that. 

It also directly contradicts what Dr. Raymond of the Stanford Credo Charter project recently said, I actually am kind of a pro-market kinda girl. But it doesn’t seem to work in a choice environment for education. I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And (education) is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work. I think it’s not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state. I think there are other supports that are needed… The policy environment really needs to focus on creating much more information and transparency about performance than we’ve had for the 20 years of the charter school movement. We need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools. But I also think we have to have some oversight of the overseers.

The thing is Charter schools in Florida which as a group under perform when compared to public schools at least have a semblance of oversight where vouchers do not.

Herzog then goes on to parrot the voucher talking points but as usual leaves out that most of the schools because they receive less than 250 thousand dollars don’t have to report how the money is spent and that since they are exempt from the state tests we have no way to compare how they are doing with public schools. 

I will bottom line it for you, if you want vouchers, have all the schools that receive them report how they are spending the money and have all the schools take the same tests. If voucher schools were to agree to do those two things then the lion’s share of resistance to them would fade away. The fact they resist both of these things however should really tell you all you need to know. 

I will take Herzog at his word that there are good things going on at his school but how do we know there are good things going on at the other 1700 barely regulated private schools that can teach creationism as science and don’t have to have certified teachers or recognized curriculums? The answer is we don’t but that’s okay because at Herzog’s school they teach students not subjects.

Next year vouchers can take nearly a half billion out of the states coffers and education and the truth is we have no idea how the vouchers schools are doing. That shouldn't be acceptable to anyone.

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