June 13, 2005
Vouchers under study
The MJS has started a must-read seven-part series on the Milwaukee school voucher program. (I must point out that I have opposed the use of vouchers from day one.) Fifteen years have gone by since the start of this experiment. The cost is staggering: 83 million tax dollars for just this year.
The initial article suggests the jury is still out on the success or failure of the program. A Stanford professor, Martin Carnoy, said, "I don't see what the big impact of all this was." He pointed out that other states have not joined the bandwagon, "Basically, they can live without it."
Former Mayor John Norquist and Howard Fuller were the salesmen in chief for the Bradley Foundation scheme to use vouchers as the first step toward privatization of public education. (Two bits it would be about as successful as privatization of the Milwaukee Public Museum.)
The Norquist argument was that voucher schools would force MPS to "compete" for students and the competition would make MPS better. There is scant evidence that the voucher program has had any impact on MPS except to take lots of money from MPS to support vouchers.
I recommend you read all seven parts of this series. Good for MJS for taking on this task.
And, this grim stat in from Iraq: More than 1,700 Americacn service men and women have been killed in Iraq with the announcement of four more Marines killed yesterday.
I suspect Fighting Bob Fest will be fertile ground for those who want an end to the occupation.
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