‘Failure’ Is a Relative Term for Louisiana’s Private School Voucher Scheme

Vouchers drain tax dollars from neighborhood public schools to pay for tuition at private and religious schools that are unaccountable to taxpayers and not held to the same standards as public schools. State rules just issued for Louisiana’s radical new voucher scheme are a case in point — especially when it comes to defining and setting consequences for “failure.”

The Lone Star State’s neighbor to the east will allow students in “failing” public schools to use tuition vouchers — at an average cost to taxpayers of $8,000 each — to enroll in private and religious schools. But while the performance of public schools is rated based on the results of standardized tests their students must take, voucher students won’t be subject to similar testing unless their new schools enroll a certain number of such students.

Moreover, voucher students won’t even take the same standardized tests that public school students must take. And voucher students can still be promoted to the next grade even if they fail their version of the tests.

In fact, private and religious schools can continue to accept taxpayer-funded vouchers even if their students are failing the tests. And most voucher schools will face no state penalties for failure — they simply have to post the average scores.

The rules include a variety of other specifics, but the bottom line is that Louisiana officials have decided to redefine failure for taxpayer-subsidized private and religious schools, giving them an advantage over neighborhood public schools. Of course, maybe that’s necessary since some of the religious schools accepting vouchers teach, among other absurdities, that the Loch Ness monster is real and is evidence against evolution.

Remember all of this when the voucher lobby in Texas demands passage of a similar scheme in the 2013 legislative session. In 2011 they tried to pass a bill that would have provided more state tax dollars for educating a student in a private or religious school than in a public school. So don’t be surprised when they propose a scheme that doesn’t hold voucher schools to the same academic standards that public schools have to meet. After all, their goal is to undermine public education — just like what is happening in Louisiana.

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4 Comments

  1. sherri
    Posted September 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I find it more disgusting on a daily basis that people that think of themselves as “intelligent” are the most biased of the human species. Biased, racist and close minded.

  2. Posted August 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Do you think it would be a good idea for Microsoft to have a monopoly on the operating system business? Public Schools have a monopoly on the education business. A huge voucher program would create a massive pool of money seeking a good education. This would spur much of the competition and innovation in the private education sector, leading teachers to finally be able to get paid what they are worth.
    Only worthless teachers would be fighting this kind of progress. My guess is that the author of this article doesn’t want the competition.
    By the way Charles – I see you’ve been reading Saul Alinsky’s work. Did you ever notice that by ridiculing ideas you now made yourself into a bully? I bet you were the kind of kid in my public school growing up who also would make fun of people’s names. Tooshay.

  3. Breckenridge
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Them colorado shootings is Obama’s fault cause birth control is murdering babies and you’ll see a lot more of that cause the muslim President says its okay to kill people not only that but washington State has that death with dignity law so who is from washington ted bundy an gary ridgway thats who and a lot more cereal killers because washington turned Their back on the lord and told people murder is good not only that but james Buchanan was the President an he was gay and right after he left office the cival war started cause god was mad cause america elected a gay president.

  4. Charles
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    “Vooshays” are a crock. The idea is to get kids out of the public schools where they never learn “right” from “wrong” and get them into religious schools where they can learn all of the moral messages they have missed hearing throught their lives—especially the wretched black students. It’s the same principle as posting the 10 Commandments on the courthouse lawn. It goes like this in my redneck of the woods here in Tennessee:

    “Weez ones thinks that theez keeyuds is a doin’ wrong ’cause no one ain’t ever told them “right” from “wrong.” Now, if weez ones wuz to put them 10 Commandments on a big granite tombstone in frunt of the courthouse, them keeyuds would walk by there and say, ‘Whoa!!!!! It says, ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill.’ I guess hit must be wrong to kill peeple. Nobody ever told me that until right now. Guess I better cancel my plans to kill my cheatin’ galfriend and burn up her body in her own car tanight.”

    Someone in Texas just read that and said, “Why that awful Charles must truly think that people like us are nothing more than a bunch of damned fools.” Well, actually, yes. Thanks for thinking just one time in your life.

    Now we move to Indiana. A couple of years ago I read a long but wonderful article written by a woman lawyer in Indiana, who I believe either graduated from or taught at Notre Dame. She had worked for many decades as a prosecutor and had literally prosecuted thousands of criminals in her career. She was also a close follower of the movement to erect 10 Commandment monuments and plaques at government buildings–and no—I do not think she is an atheist. She said that one of the most frequent things she heard from the public was the Tennessee redneck quote (above). It is apparently a “stupid people” classic, and it always amused her. Why? Here is why. Over the years, she would ask the thousands of criminals she prosecuted if they knew that what they were doing was WRONG before they committed their crime. Nearly down to every last man and woman, the answer was a resounding YES. Then why did you do it? “I knew it was wrong and did it anyway because I just plain didn’t care.”
    Freeze that. “I knew it was wrong but did not care!!!” As the old saying goes, a man has got to get his needs met. The lady prosecutor knows from long, hard personal experience that the 10 Commandment thumpers really are a bunch of damned fools.

    Vooshays will not work. This is just one of many reasons why.

    My local newspaper pointed out today that the Sons of the Confederacy is advertising a new book they have for sale entitled something like this (approximately): “The Negro” The Southern White Man’s Problem.” I suspect some idiot somewhere believes that vooshays are the answer to this supposed problem. You know. Give black Americans a vooshay to go to a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical private school; ask them to check their spears, lion tooth beads, and grass skirts at the front door; and begin using Jesus and the Old Testament Law to civilize them.

    Wait for the quote at the end of the film clip:

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