Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Arne Duncan's Fundamental Dishonesty
4-09-2009 Denver Post

The link:

Obama policies and direction give Bush Third Term in Education. From ED WEEK.


Anonymous said...

The voucher program referred to in Washington DC, was established in 2004, known as the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program.

The U.S. Department of Education released the findings of the first-year achievement impact study, led by Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas, in June 2007.

Because the program was oversubscribed, scholarships were awarded by lottery. To examine total program impact on student achievement, the study compared the results of lottery winners with those of lottery losers (regardless of whether the winners actually used their scholarships or whether the losers attended public schools).

The authors found no impact, positive or negative, on average test scores in reading or math. Similarly, they found no impact of the effect of using a voucher to attend a private school on average reading or math test scores.

So why would Duncan remove the voucher program? For the same reasons I have been talking about - No fiscal accountability.

As of August 2007, there were 24 programs in 13 states and the District of Columbia that provide financial assistance in the form of vouchers or voucher-like tuition assistance, tax credits and tax deductions so that parents can send their children to private schools. That compares with seven programs in seven states a decade ago, according to the U.S. Department of Education's (DOE) Office of Non-Public Education. The D.C. school voucher program is federally funded, but most others are state-funded.

Most of the programs are open to children with disabilities or those attending failing schools in low-income areas. The programs have not advanced without controversy, legal challenges, and scrutiny.

"A federal government preliminary report last week found that a voucher program designed to send children of low-income families in D.C. to private schools lacks the oversight to ensure that students are attending suitable schools.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has prepared a draft report saying the $12.9 million D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program enacted by Congress in 2003 lacked financial controls in the early phases of startup and that some students were attending classes in unaccredited schools and taught by teachers without bachelor's degrees. The report, which is not final or officially released, was obtained by the Washington Post."

To allow the program to continue with federal money would be an embarrassment especially when Obama is attempting to show fiscal controls do exist in government subsidizing banks, insurance carriers, and car manufacturers. Why not save me too. I could sure use a million. Right!

Excuse me, but a $7500 federally sponsored voucher sounds a bit over the top. The money could have been invested more wisely in public education? Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Duncan removed the program because the private vendors running the charter schools were crooks. Teachers without 4 year college degrees and running unaccredited schools is an embarrassment. Libertarian economics is a myth.