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Thursday, February 13, 2014

SB member Jason Fischer uses specious arguments to defend vouchers.

I am just going to get right to it.  Jason Fischer defended his pro voucher stance in Context Florida and as usual when he talks about school choice he gets it all wrong.  

First he says charter schools, private schools that take vouchers, magnets, dual enrollment, industry certification and so on all make up the school choice movement. NO NO NO!!! Did I mention NO!

These school choice guys have started to co-op everything they can to give charters and vouchers cover because  as the evidence comes in both are not just taking money away from resource starved public schools but are woefully underperforming too.

In Florida 250 charter schools have closed over the years and the Stanford Credo study says that kids that attend them are falling behind. Furthermore private schools that take vouchers despite being able to decide who they take and keep aren’t doing better than public schools.

Magnet schools are not part of the school choice movement and neither are anything else that happens at a school that starts P.S. Charter schools and private schools that take vouchers are the sole entities in the school choice movement though that’s just a gentler way of saying privatization.

He then goes on to talk about the plight of the students who take vouchers who he makes out to be little more than street urchins, well friends I spoke with the author of Florida’s voucher study and he had a slightly different take. Some of what Fischer wrote is true but he over sells it which is a common theme in his writings.

Fischer then says voucher schools only take 55 cents on the dollar but I remind you nobody forces a private school to take vouchers and wasn’t them being able to do things cheaper and more efficient one of the early school choice narratives? You know the narrative that is constantly changing as people realize they are being sold a bill of goods by snake oil salesman.

Then he balks at the prospect of the students being graded on the same criteria, the FCAT or what replaces it as public schools students. He asks what about the private schools that only have a few voucher kids, should they all be required to take the test too?

No, just the voucher kids and that accountability should be the price of taking public money. And friends that is the rub, what he is really saying is give me the money but don’t worry about the accountability and nobody especially an elected official should be down with that. 

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