Wednesday, April 9, 2014

More on the #voucherfail

Only have a few minutes to bang out this info, but wanted to follow up from the DPI's release on test scores, which gave information for both the public schools in the state, and the 3 different voucher programs.

John Peterson at Democurmudgeon has a good rundown of the results and I'll also include this graphic from the Journal-Sentinel which gives the Cliff's notes version.

It's worth noting that not all (or even most) voucher students may fall under the DPI definition of "economically disadvantaged/ low income", because the income limits for free and reduced lunch are well below the limits that allow students to be part in any of the three voucher programs. And I'll also point out that many of those voucher students in Racine and the statewide WPCP program already were going to these schools to begin with. Not surprisingly, the statewide program is the one that had the largest percentage of students "opting out" of the tests, so their results (for good or bad) are not measured. Let's see if that trend continues in year 2, as more "fly-by-night" voucher schools join the Racine and statewide programs (the Milwaukee ones are consistently the ones with the sub-10% proficiencies).

But in looking at these numbers, there is no debate that voucher schools underperformed the public schools in Milwaukee and Racine on these tests, and Milwaukee's voucher schools has if anything gotten worse over the 20+ years it has been in existence. This policy is failing Wisconsin, accountably stealing money from taxpayers and public schools, and denigrating the many strong teachers that produce our future learners, workers and inventors. This #voucherfail needs to be put into the dustbin of history for good. NOW.

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