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Friday, March 7, 2014

Will Weatherford wants to destroy public schools and I think I can prove it.

First the speaker never attended public schools; his parents obviously had a distain for them something that he carried into his adult life.

He might say things like he wants to save children from failing public schools but at the same time he supports charter schools which have a greater percentage of failing schools and has blocked all attempts to put accountability measures on private schools that take vouchers which makes it impossible to have an apples to apples comparison between how they and public schools are doing.

Why are only failing public schools bad? Why is accountability only for public schools? Well it’s because he wants public schools to fail and more will if the state continues to drain their resources by using sales taxes to fund more vouchers.

It is not necessarily vouchers that have people upset. Everybody wants children to do well. It is the lack of accountability that they have that upsets people. Their teachers have no certification or education requirements. Their curriculum goes unregulated and over a hundred and sixty schools in Florida that take public money teach creationism as science and then they and their advocates resist the same tests that public schools are required to take. If vouchers are the answer then what is the problem with proving it?

I believe he can’t and that’s why he fights against accountability for them and at the same time is okay with risking the viability of public schools in the process.

The states own researchers says that despite being able to pick who they accept and keep, private schools that take vouchers don’t do any better than public schools. Weatherford might counter with they take less money but I would like to point out that nobody forces a private school to take vouchers and one of the original selling points for them was the private sector could do things cheaper and more efficiently. Furthermore shouldn’t all the McKay scholarship fraud and Charter school scandals and closings (over 250 have taken public money and closed) give them at least temporary pause before this massive expansion?

If Florida really cares about its children it should say no to these ratcheted up voucher proposals, that also open up vouchers to middle class children that can attend great schools, and make sure we do things right. I have given up hoping that this Florida legislature will undue the damage it has done to public schools so all I ask is that we get it right before we further hurt them. Unfortunately in Florida that might be asking to much.

Chris Guerrieri
Education Matters

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