Question for governor: Why would Georgia want to emulate Louisiana? Its record is not inspiring.

Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal

Former Pelham City school chief Jim Arnold always impresses me with his willingness to challenge the political rhetoric around education. He’s written several guest pieces for the AJC Get Schooled blog and has his own blog.

Here is his most recent effort.

By Jim Arnold

Gov. Nathan Deal’s suggestion that Georgia “look at” a recovery school district modeled after the one in New Orleans has raised more than a few eyebrows in our state.

Louisiana, where Advanced Placement exam results for 2013 are ahead of only Mississippi, is known more for LSU football and Duck Dynasty than public education. Higher National Assessment of Educational Progress scores in 2013 still leave the state at the bottom of the national scorecard, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce report in 2014 gave the state educational system an A for choice but a D or F for academic achievement, international competitiveness and workforce preparation.

Less than 20 percent of Louisiana students met Programme for International Student Assessment requirements for reading and math standards, and recent gains in LEAP (Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) and iLEAP (integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program) state tests were due to Louisiana Department of Education manipulation of cut scores and not actual academic achievement.

The number of correct answers on those tests required for a level of “basic” proficiency was reduced in 3 of 4 categories in LEAP testing.  The LDOE said the grading scale was “equated.”  This means the grading scale was adjusted to make it appear that student performance held steady with Common Core aligned tests instead of the dramatic reduction that would have shown up without “equating.”

The vast majority of charters in Louisiana, except for those with a selective admission process, are rated D or F by their own state.  The New Orleans Recovery School District that Nathan Deal suggested we emulate was rated as one of the lowest performing districts in the state.

This plan was part of the “bait and switch” campaign in Louisiana to increase the number of charter schools in that state after Hurricane Katrina.  Their method was simple: if evidence for the success of charters is required, simply lower test scores, apply charters wherever possible then raise the scores back through whatever test manipulation is needed to “prove” the case.

The RSD efforts in Louisiana are a miserable failure by any measure.  In spite of the promise to return schools to the public after the initial takeover in 2006, not one school in the RSD has been returned to local control after 8 years.

The governor’s suggestion of studying the implementation of such a model in Georgia speaks more to his lack of a coherent educational policy than to his ideas for educational progress.  The governor stated “I am willing to listen to anybody’s idea.”

091914 unemployment BG1

A retired Georgia school chief offers Gov. Nathan Deal a better game plan for education reform than his recovery school district proposal. (AJC Photo)

OK, governor, here it goes:

Believe in and support teachers:  Poverty is the cause of achievement gaps and the number one obstacle to educational success.  Stop the culture of blaming teachers for poverty. Teachers don’t cause poverty any more than law enforcement causes crime or doctors create disease.

Invest in teachers: Restore professional development funds. Professional development should be experienced teachers working with less experienced teachers. Pay great teachers to share their knowledge and ideas in ways that allow them to stay in the classroom.  One great teacher working with 3 or 4 others is a powerful tool.  Large groups of teachers listening to one “expert” in an auditorium is not.

Pay great teachers more to work in high poverty schools:  Working in these schools is difficult.  Make it worth the effort for teachers that want to increase their salaries and stay in the classroom.  Want to attract great teachers to high poverty areas?  Pay them to travel and teach there.  Want to identify high poverty schools?  Simply look at standardized test scores.  They don’t tell you anything about teaching and learning but do serve wonderfully to point out the zip code effect of the level of poverty in a given area.

Eliminate standardized testing for other than diagnostic purposes:  The money saved would be more beneficial invested in teaching and learning than in the autopsy reports generated at the insistence of accountabullies in the name of accountabalism.  Allow teachers the opportunity to teach without having to teach to the test.

Don’t believe in magic bullets:  The answer is not in canned programs guaranteed to produce higher test scores.  The answer is in the power of great teachers.  Invest in people and not in programs.  Success through standardization is a myth.  Every student needs and deserves individualized learning at all levels.  Educational achievement, like excellence, cannot be legislated.

Technology is a tool for teachers and not an answer unto itself: For every child that learns through technology alone there are more that fail miserably without the intervention and guidance of a teacher. Lower class sizes, eliminate furlough days and give teachers the time and tools to teach.

Help prevent legislative meddling in teaching and learning: Unfunded mandates and legislative attempts at applying statewide solutions to local educational issues have done more to hurt public education than to help.  Standardization is not a solution unless your goal is to help Bill Gates sell a lot of technology.  Georgia teachers can also find a better way than age level to determine educational placement.  Children learn at different rates and in different ways.  If a child cannot jump a bar 4 feet high, raising the bar to 6 feet does not encourage continued learning and effort.  Expecting every child to achieve at the same rate at the same level ignores fundamental differences in human development…sort of like Arnie’s plan to test special education students out of special education through higher expectations.

Top down implementation does not work in education any more than it does in government:   Issuing a decree that all children will succeed does not automatically mean that all children will succeed.

My dad told me you can always see what people believe in by observing how they spend their money and how they spend their time.  The same is true for politicians.  Talking about the importance of education is useless unless you actually do something that positively affects teaching and learning.

Reducing the size of the cuts to public education is not an increase any more than the $100 gift cards to teachers were anything but a political ploy to give the appearance of support to teachers.  Talk to teachers, listen to teachers and allow teachers to tell you what really counts in education.  If you truly want to help students in Georgia, there are no shortcuts and no magic bullets.

Teachers are not the problem but the answer.  Have the courage to ask them and follow their advice.

 

Reader Comments 1

108 comments
KristenBuras
KristenBuras

I have been researching education reform in New Orleans for the past decade.  Jim Arnold's assessment is dead right: New Orleans' Recovery School District is not a model to be replicated.  It has served only to worsen existing racial and economic inequities and to dispossess New Orleans' African American community in the name of "innovation" and "choice."

If there are any doubts, read CHARTER SCHOOLS, RACE, AND URBAN SPACE: WHERE THE MARKET MEETS GRASSROOTS RESISTANCE, which chronicles the past decade of charter school reform in New Orleans.  It will be released in an affordable softcover version later this week:

http://www.amazon.com/Charter-Schools-Race-Urban-Space/dp/0415660505/ref=la_B001HD3SLM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412110875&sr=1-1

Additionally, here is a debate at Harvard University Graduate School of Education on whether the "New Orleans model" is a success or failure.  I argue it has been an utter failure, while the founder of New Schools for New Orleans, the city's leading charter school incubator, argues the opposite.  The difference is, I have evidence to validate my argument:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb-qlt3O0As

Like many advocating state takeover and charter schools, the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute issued a report calling for Ohio to emulate New Orleans' Recovery School District.  Here is a critical response, which elaborates on some of the issues raised by Jim Arnold. It was published by the National Education Policy Center:

http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-louisiana-recovery-buckeye

I hope these resources are helpful.  Evidence should matter in this high-stakes debate about the future of our public schools.

mensa_dropout
mensa_dropout

So instead of looking to the states with the highest grad rates, he wants to look to Louisiana? 

Why not look to, oh, I don't know: Iowa, the top performing state in graduation??? Or Vermont, which is number 2?

Astropig
Astropig

I'm sure that any legislator or administration official that reads these toxic,hate filled comments (and the essay itself) is saying him/herself "Yes, these are reasonable people. I think we can find some common ground and work together".


The attitudes on display here are why reforms are generally done with a meat axe and not a scalpel.

Astropig
Astropig

@OriginalProf @Astropig 

No, I think you missed my point.What I'm trying to say is that no matter what happens on November 4th, there will be a November 5th, when everybody on both sides will have to live with the results.The partisan poison on display here will make honest cooperation all but impossible and that means that decisions will always come down to sheer political power-Which will be in the hands of Republicans in the legislature for certain and a better than even chance in the administration.No wayyyyyyy in the world that Republican county chairmen,grass roots activists and large fundraisers are going to counsel the power wielders that they can support bipartisan efforts to cooperate with people that have demonized them as crackers,hillbillies and worse during the campaign. I know my state rep. I visit with him and see him pretty regularly. My state senator is no stranger either. He's prominent, committed and active in the community. These people are a LOT smarter than we give them credit for being. They know instinctively that they're never going to win over the extreme elements that oppose them (like the author of this article). That's why they look for any sign that they can cooperate and find common ground with people of good will to make education better.When pieces like this bring out the haters,they realize that they can't do business with people that are so far out of the mainstream.They won't take the political risk of bridging the gap between the groups.Thus, pieces like this actually do more,MUCH more harm than good the day after the election,when things actually start getting done.


Just a little food for thought.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Astropig 

Good thinking points. I in turn think that too often the Democratic opposition is also demonized by Republicans as "socialists," "liberals," "progressives," and so on...their own different viewpoint ignored instead of being acknowledged as one that many Georgians hold.


I will suggest one thing: if these posts are indeed "hate-filled," it might come from the fear of being in the political minority and usually ignored. That's toxic, too. No-one likes to be steam-rolled.

Astropig
Astropig

@OriginalProf


"I will suggest one thing: if these posts are indeed "hate-filled," it might come from the fear of being in the political minority and usually ignored. That's toxic, too. No-one likes to be steam-rolled."


No, nobody likes to be steamrolled.But we have a binary system where you're either in or out of power and its a lot better to work with the people in power.I sure don't see that here.


I know a lot of politicians. To a man (and a woman or two), they all tell me the same thing: You can't "un say" some of the things said in a campaign. Your own supporters won't let you work with what they see as extremists on the other side. This piece is an example of that. This kind of divisive rhetoric makes day to day cooperation all but impossible because it assumes that there are only two possible approaches: "Ours" or "Theirs". Any officeholder that wants to stay employed will choose "Ours". (duh). 


Finally, four years is a long time. When you're out of power, it's longer still.I just wonder what purpose it serves to make the political environment so toxic that the best you people can hope for for the next 48 months is bitter stalemate? The legislature ain't goin' away,no matter what happens with the Governors race or the School Super race. Both of those candidates have made it plain that they will continue the partisan warfare going on on these pages daily. I would take a hard look at the practical realities before I dialed up any more rhetoric like above.

FredinDeKalb
FredinDeKalb

@Astropig 


You infer the author is part of the extreme element.  While he may not care for Governor Deal, he is what I would call *boots on the ground* and has a perspective about what works in education that Deal lacks.  I would not dismiss all the suggestions above based on who said it.  There are some at a website that won't be named that discounted what I said because of the messenger more than the message, especially if it was contrary to their beliefs.


I often wonder if teacher salaries could be differentiated somewhat based on factors more than simply years of service.  I can see paying a teacher with a STEM or Special Education background more than an English/History/PE teacher.  I would see paying additional stipends to senior teachers who agree to teach in low performing schools.  I would counter this by requiring stricter measures to make sure we get the type of return expected for the additional investments.


I am skeptical of some Republicans who get their talking points and guidance from organizations like ALEC.  In my opinion, this could do more harm for future generations of Georgia students than anything else.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@Astropig I know that you support charter schools. But I don't think that Louisiana's educational scene right now is characteristic of the charter movement; and it has many problems that are particular to Louisiana and its immediate history. I think that the "toxic, hate-filled comments" here are more of a reaction to Louisiana and the possibility of Georgia becoming like that state than to charter schools more generally.

Intteach
Intteach

@Astropig 

And of course you are one of the few Republicans who supports working with President Obama on the national level just as you are committed to do on the local level, right?

VivBarker
VivBarker

@Astropig OK I know I commented before but I just have to react to this:  "They [Republican county chairmen, grass roots activists, and large fundraisers] know instinctively that they're never going to win over the extreme elements that oppose them (like the author of this article). That's why they look for any sign that they can cooperate and find common ground with people of good will to make education better. When pieces like this bring out the haters, they realize that they can't do business with people that are so far out of the mainstream."

The folks of whom you speak must live in an echo chamber of their own voices, if they view this article as extremist & calculated to bring out 'the haters'.  The article is perhaps a bit left of center. Sounds like your folks are far, far, far to the right. Perhaps it's time they did a little keener listening to the electorate whom they purport to represent.

VivBarker
VivBarker

@Astropig  I have been spending my evening with this comment thread and find it full of reasonable people expressing rational opinions. Yours is the first to even use the words crackers and hillbillies. Sure, there are disagreements of opinion. Is that what your 'power wielders' are so afraid of?  They must be awfully thin-skinned.

madteacher
madteacher

OMG, common sense at last! As a teacher, I couldn't have asked for a better plan for Georgia. If someone up there in the capital would only listen, instead of putting politics first before children and education. It is so depressing that politics come before education...no wonder we are at the bottom of the heap.

BorisnNatasha
BorisnNatasha

"Reducing the size of the cuts to public education is not an increase any more than the $100 gift cards to teachers were anything but a political ploy to give the appearance of support to teachers.  Talk to teachers, listen to teachers and allow teachers to tell you what really counts in education.  If you truly want to help students in Georgia, there are no shortcuts and no magic bullets."


Heed those words please governor.  Or Georgia will be dead last in everything except open carry. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@EdUktr  At this point, you seem to be campaigning for Nathan Deal rather than seeking to enlighten us about Jason Carter, since Carter has backed down saying that he wouldn't do this without the teachers' support. As a TRS retiree myself, I was originally grateful for  your expressions of sympathy for the teachers on Galloway's blog that you link here, but now I wonder about your motivation. 


I assume that of course if/when the legislature takes up such a proposal at its next session--as seems likely no matter who is elected governor--you will be on the front lines of the blogs protesting.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@EdUktr I will form my opinion when I see the agenda of next year's state legislative session, whoever is Governor. Talk is cheap...for both candidates.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@OriginalProf @EdUktr

Please think what you like. 

Maureen's motivation, in refusing to even mention the issue brought up by Jason Carter himself this past week, is obviously political. As is most everything she does on this supposedly non-partisan blog.

But not all retired or soon-to-be-retired teachers are as gullible about Carter's supposed retreat from politicizing our pension money. Nor is GAE to be trusted in this, as they speak only for a minority of ultra partisan-Democrat types. Such as you.

Those reading Galloway's column and especially the comments will form their own opinion.

HowdyJune
HowdyJune

Jim Arnold has some valid points, but he also misses the point on others.  I doubt very many of the kids in Georgia grew up in a home more impoverished than mine.  But I had a father and a mother there who expected me to attend class, to learn, and to perform.  They closely reviewed my report cards and I had to explain those grades.  I did my homework and I had enforced study time.  In short, they cared.  I had some good teachers and I had some bad ones, including a third grade teacher who tried to convince me that 3 times 0 was 3!  


I also believe in testing.  Testing is not a very difficult concept.  First, base the test questions on the material taught and test for the major learning points.  Second, analyze the results - how many students missed question 1, question 2, etc.  Third, share the results with the student and teacher.  Those results tell the student what they  know and what they do not know versus what was expected.  They tell them how well they did relative to other students.  They tell the teachers what points they made well and those which they did not.  Those results provide very good feedback to the student and the teacher and provide a measure of performance to both. Teachers who got the learning points across well should be rewarded for that performance.  The results should serve as the basis for teacher development and, if that does not improve the situation, then it would serve as a basis for termination.  I reject the idea of tenure just as business does not tolerate continued poor performance.  Similarly, principals whose schools perform well, whose schools demonstrate measurable improvement, those whose teachers show measurable improvements, and those who retain good teachers should likewise be rewarded based on performance.  In short, there must be a measuring stick for students, teachers, and principals and they must be rewarded depending on how they performed.


We have gotten too complex and confusing in curriculum development, student expectations, testing formats, and results.  And that is largely the fault of educators, especially in administration.  It seems that we have lost track of measuring progress and, lacking any such measures, have lost our direction.   Look at how thick those "strategic planning documents", "methods and procedures", etc. have gotten - who reads all that let alone implements them!


Finally, I recently met a superintendent in another State who seemed to have a novel approach.  He chaired an advisory board consisting of the local community college, business leaders who shared expectations for potential employees, and selected teachers from schools.  Business leaders sat in classes and provided feedback.  Teachers worked in local business during the summer as did many students.  Meeting minutes were kept, feedback given, and future actions charted.   Just as businesses must know what their customers expect, schools need to know what is expected of their students and work toward that end.  Keep it simple and start with the end in mind. 

VivBarker
VivBarker

@HowdyJune You were fortunate to have parents with character. Character rises to the occasion.

I hear what you're saying about testing & I like the way you put it into a context of responsibility that is shared in a reciprocal network of students, teachers, administrators. Yes, this is the way it should work, & if it worked that way, tenure would not be needed to protect teachers nor administrators.

But I suspect given your obvious intelligence, you understand things don't actually work this way. State standardized tests are seldom tailored to curriculum actually taught.  Even if that could be corrected (which is a difficult proposition), top-down bureaucracy takes time & hence scores are received well after classes are disbanded.  So state testing does not serve as feedback helping teachers to allow that ideal teacher-student analysis/ tweaking of teaching methods/ sharing among teachers. However, the system you describe can actually be accomplished within a local school,  and traditionally that is how things have been done at most schools since time immemorial.

Unfortunately, once the state jumps in with both feet and provides the testing/ evaluating mechanism,  one ends up with tests designed by folks at several removes from the local school, who provide results way too late to be of help to teachers or students. Despite that disconnect, the state wants to use those scores to evaluate school and teacher performance.

Recently, with the advent of Common Core's testing implementation via SMART/ PAARC, the testing itself has become a burden: annual tests take 7.5-10hrs (compared to maybe 3 or less, using local assessments), & must be taken online, on individual computers. This can cost millions in tech upgrades, & causes scheduling havoc for the ordinary school which has never before needed one computer for every student, & so must rotate groups of students through the available computers, requiring hours of teacher aides standing by.

I am less sanguine about the school-business get-togethers. Not a bad idea, but not a central & germane idea either, unless it's being applied in a vo-tech setting. Education & business are different enterprises. For example: learning to analyze and write about an article/story is one thing; an interoffice memo is quite another. In my day it was quite ordinary to learn on the job from a more experienced employee, & that is the bailiwick of the co., not the school. 

Intteach
Intteach

Deal's record is exemplar:

* most corrupt governor in the US

* highest unemployment rate in the country

* complete disaster with SHBP - more to follow next year

* vindictive behavior towards Barge and the DOE

* bullies people that have an open different opinion about his ideas

= tyrant in the making.

We better vote him out when we can in November.

Starik
Starik

@Intteach If Deal wins this election the only hope for Georgia is the elimination of much of our current electorate. through death from old age, bad habits and poor health care.  They are slowly being replaced by people from up North and overseas. How stupid are Georgia voters?  We shall see.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Intteach

You got proof of "corruption" that stands up in court—or are you just another opinionated liberal mudslinger hiding behind anonymity? 

Thought so.

Starik
Starik

@EdUktr Does "corruption" require a conviction? We'll see if the Feds, who I assume are investigating, can find evidence of that. Wildly unethical and inept? Review the content of the news since Deal became Governor (and before).

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Starik @EdUktr

Drop by again when the feds—or anyone else—find the evidence of wrongdoing you so obviously lack.

duke14
duke14

All of this is a waste of time. The problem is the curriculum, and teachers cannot do anything about it. John Dewey introduced Progressive Education in 1904. It was a dismal failure. Students learned nothing.  Undismayed, Dewey and his disciples gradually took control of Teachers Colleges, Teachers Unions, textbook production, etc. Their spiritual descendants retain firm control of those institutions. Common Core is merely the next stage in the implementation of Dewey's curriculum. Classroom teachers are not the problem; the problem is the "professional educators" who control the curriculum at Teachers colleges.

One example: Bill Ayers was a founder and leader of the Weather Underground during the 1970's, an openly communist organization that was "bringing the war to America", in their own words. Ayers himself openly boasts of exploding a bomb at the Pentagon. He became an education professor at the University of Illinois; and in 2008 he was elected vice President in charge of curriculum for the American Education Research Association (AERA), the largest organization of education school professors and researchers. Ayers openly boasts that he is using education as a vehicle for communist revolution. These are the sorts of people who control our curriculum. Learn more about Ayers at the following link:

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=3679

Starik
Starik

@duke14 Ah, a Communist plot. That is rather an interesting point of view.

SwampLily
SwampLily

Commies in the schoolhouse! It was only a matter of time.

LDH2O
LDH2O

@duke14  The US is the #1 power in the world, yet you say our educational system is a failure. Also we really came into our own during WWII which is when those educated after 1904 took charge.

VivBarker
VivBarker

@duke14  Wow.  So American schools were doomed since 1904.  Guess that's why we never went anyplace as a national power in the 20th c. >sarc<

VolatileVoice
VolatileVoice

Thanks for letting Mr. Arnold share his views.  I've asked that same question "Why do we want to emulate Louisana?" yet get no understandable response. I'm all for trying new ideas, but to follow a state where the cut scores are maniuplated to "attain" the desired result is NOT the new idea that we should be considering.


Wascatlady
Wascatlady

The problem is that Deal goes with whatever his lackeys tell him, until someone corrects him.  He relies highly on the Hall school system head, for example.  Remember the "he was against it, then he was for it, now he is against it" of common core?  He takes on many ideas in an ill-advised and non-cohesive type of decision-making "process."

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

There are some other negative factors about the Louisiana situation that have gone unmentioned. 

One reason their schools may now seem better than before Katrina, aside from manipulation of test scores by officials, is that a large number of the poor students who were discipline problems and gang members left the city for good for nearby cities such as Houston.  Comparisons can't be made accurately because the population groups in the schools then and now are different.


I also don't see that having a school district 100% charter, as with NO's Recovery School District, is "school choice." If a student leaves this charter school, where can he or she go? If the surrounding public schools were poor, it seems better to improve those with public funds than just convert them into another type of school. 


Like SwampLily (love your moniker!) who is on the scene, I have had my misgivings from the beginning about the way in which Jindal has sought the support of Louisiana's Tea Party. This seems in line with that, and I sure hope that Georgia stays away from it.

popcornular
popcornular

Entire areas of Houston have morphed into a rat hole. The citizens there painfully regret the decision to harbor all this trash after Katrina. 

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@popcornular I don't think that Houstonites (Houstonians?) had much choice.

LisaAkins
LisaAkins

@popcornular Trash....would that be human beings you are referr

ing to?

straker
straker

Centerist  -  "only certain optional religious schools emphasize 'intelligent design' over evolution"


Guess you don't know much about Kansas and Texas school boards and how much influence they have over ALL school books. 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@straker - They need some fundalmental religious based schools so public schools don't get polluted with the dogma.  If enough of the fringe kids leave public schools, the silly demand to give equal weight to "Intelligent Design" to the science of evolution, carbon dating, ice cores, archiology, etc. would go away.

Pretending this is the driving force for school choice is, of couse, a false straw dog argument.

SwampLily
SwampLily

@The_Centrist "While we already discovered 300 voucher schools teaching creationism, likely hundreds more creationist voucher schools exist. Many schools in these voucher programs either don’t have websites or don’t advertise teaching creationism, but are very similar to the schools we’ve already discovered teaching creationism. Also two states, Arizona and Mississippi, have voucher programs, but don’t release lists of participating schools. We do know that every school in Arizona is eligible for Arizona’s program, and we documented creationist schools in Arizona who could be part of this program."

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/hundreds-of-voucher-schools-teach-creationism-in-science-classes

VivBarker
VivBarker

@The_Centrist Nonsense.  The Dixie vote has always been the driving force for school choice.  It was always and only about getting away from the black kids and getting public money to support evangelical schools. The Milton Friedman free-market capitalists just piggybacked onto that chunk of voters & hijacked the argument: today, hedge-fund mgrs. are licking their chops over school property taxes, one of the last hoards of unprivatized public money.  But the South can claim authorship on this idea.

straker
straker

Common  "you left out that Jesus rode a dinosaur in the annual dinosaur roundup"


Yes. And then he probably fed all of them with loaves and fishes.

straker
straker

"Parental choice" is code for teaching the following"


1. The Earth is 6,000 years old.

2. Men walked with dinosaurs.

3. Evolution and science are liberal lies from the pits of hell.

4. The New Testament is the infallible word of God.

5. We're only strangers here, heaven is our home.


Since a great many of the Georgia Republican electorate are fundamentalists, Deal would love for our schools to imitate Louisiana's.



The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@straker - Typical liberal overstatement.  Only certain optional religous schools emphasize "intelligent design" over evolution.  It is a somewhat free country to allow parents who have such strong beliefs to send their children there if they pick up the tuition on top of taxes.  Very small minority.  School choice is much more about getting out of failing schools to better ones.  It is here to stay, and will be expanded against liberals' wishes.

btn
btn

@The_Centrist @straker 

Did you not read the article

A for School Choice

D or F for School Performance

Widespread School Choice directly leads to poorer performing schools.  Less oversight=Worse Performance.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

@SwampLily - Another bogus statement.  Even vouchers only give back a portion of the taxes parents pay for schools their children aren't attending.  Not only are they not taking any of "your" money, but forcibly gifting some.

These overstatements only hurt any logical arguments that might be put forward.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@The_Centrist I live in a 2400 sq ft home on 2 acres.  My property tax for schools is about $350.  How do you think I would pay for private school for my 3 children if I did not "rob" from other taxpayers?

SwampLily
SwampLily

@The_Centrist Whether there is a net return to taxpayers is not the point of my last comment. Louisiana's school voucher mechanism removed a huge chunk of funding from our public school system to subsidize tuition at private schools, 82% of which are religiously affiliated and some of which teach creationism as "science." As a taxpayer whose money funds the state of Louisiana, I strenuously object to this violation of the separation of church and state and the funding of scientific falsehoods. Not that Bobby Jindal recognizes that separation. And to return to the net redistribution of tax dollars, it very much depends on which state you live in that has a voucher program, where you live in that state, and the formulas underlying that program.

SwampLily
SwampLily

If parents want to pay tuition to keep their children scientifically misinformed in a private school, fine. But they can't have my money to do it.

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