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Monday, March 10, 2014

Will Weatherford uses children as pawns in his voucher game.

I didn’t pick up on it. I figured his expansion of vouchers to middle class families was just another step in his goals to provide welfare for the well off and have every kid get a voucher effectively destroying public education.

I didn’t pick up on it by Julie Delagal in Florida Today did. She wrote: Florida Senate President Don Gaetz appears to have finally heard the drumbeat from parents and educators. In the face of yet another expansion of the voucher program, he has asked not just about how families like the program, but how well their children are doing academically.

Apples-to-apples accountability is a good idea, particularly when Weatherford is peddling an expansion of vouchers. He wants to increase the corporate tax credit pot by another $30 million, add sales taxes to the mix, raise income levels for eligibility and offer partial vouchers for middle-class kids.

And that’s why private schools won’t have to worry. If they get an influx of middle-class pupils, studies show, criterion-referenced test scores for voucher students will rise.

This is not to say that low-income kids can’t improve. In low-income “turnaround” public schools in Duval County, they often do. But we all know, poverty is the primary correlate to poor academic achievement. And so far, there’s no evidence that putting a poor child in a private school will make that child perform better academically.

Despite the spin propagated by charter-school proponents through the Florida Department of Education’s study, we know that when it comes to poor students, charter schools — another privatization program that uses public dollars — aren’t producing any better results than public schools.

You see despite Weatherford’s cries he doesn’t care about children he just wants to destroy public education and this is just another step one on that road and if he has to use middle class children to hasten the fall then so be it.

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