"When I look at this bill [SB 372], we're really talking about "additional options" in private school or home schools. Or the principle and the option could be that we do have additional options in public schools and that we can continue to improve our public schools so that all children have those options within the schools.
"For the governor [Jinadal, Lousiana] and many backers of the most radical change in education, “school choice” is a term of art. It means taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools.
The first sentence of the Calder study of competitive impact of the Florida tax credit voucher program on public schools says:
P.4 of CEP study:
With the publication of more recent evidence showing no clear achievement advantage
among students receiving publicly funded vouchers, the rhetoric used to justify vouchers
has shifted. Although some voucher advocates continue to maintain that vouchers have
been found to improve student achievement, others note that vouchers have not been
found to harm the achievement of participating students and may increase public school
performance through competition. In addition, some voucher advocates are highlighting
the positive impacts of vouchers on graduation rates and parent satisfaction and the
importance of providing choice as a right in itself. The following examples illustrate some
of the current rhetoric of voucher supporters:
First off, 20 years in, it’s hard to argue that the nation’s biggest and most established
voucher experiment has ‘worked’ if the measure is whether vouchers lead to higher
reading and math scores. Happily, that’s never been my preferred metric for structural
reforms—both because I think it’s the wrong way to study them . . . but, more
importantly, because choice-based reform shouldn’t be understood as that kind of
intervention. Rather, choice-based reform should be embraced as an opportunity for
educators to create more focused and effective schools and for reformers to solve
problems in smarter ways.
—Rick Hess, American Enterprise Institute, 20104
As an advocate of school choice, all I can say is thank heavens for the Milwaukee
results. Here’s why: If my fellow supporters of charter schools and vouchers can finally
be pushed off their obsession with test scores, maybe we can focus on the real reason
that school choice is a good idea. Schools differ in what they teach and how they teach
it, and parents care deeply about both, regardless of whether test scores rise.
—Charles Murray, American Enterprise Institute, 20115
The appeal of school choice centers around a belief that greater choice meets the
desires of parents, and improves the quality of education by fostering innovation and
—School Choice Task Force, Douglas County (Colorado) School District, 20106
Rep. A and Rep. B do not believe that their colleagues mean to do any harm. Both A and B voted for CACR 8, which would make state funding of public schools optional and allow for funding of religious schools. When I pointed out in the committee that the bill makes state funding for public schools optional, B exclaimed, "But they wouldn't do that!"
As a lifelong educator and former public school teacher, the outcome of this vote is horrifying.
I was present at a sub-committee meeting on this bill. The discussion did NOT center around controversial topics in subjects such as sex ed, but rather on the METHOD of teaching elementary mathematics. The subcommittee members specifically mentioned Everyday Math. They did not like Everyday Math because parents didn't understand it. (Obviously they had read some screed about fuzzy math.)
As a primary grade teacher for many years, I began envisioning what my second grade math class might have been like under this law. An hour a day to teach math, 20 kids. Using the district approved math program with 10 of them, then being forced to teach by a different method and with different materials, with a different scope and sequence, 3 or 4 or 5 or more different lessons to different kids.
Do it all over again with reading and language arts, then science, then social studies...you get the picture.
This is supposed to make things better?
I have always nurtured the hope that one of my children would choose to move to NH to raise their families. No more! Lessons are likely to be planned to cause the least amount of disruption by parents who want to control everything in a child's classroom. I want my grandchildren to become educated adults who can think for themselves, not be taught some shallow ideology because that is the only material that is safe for the teacher to teach. An old bumper sticker that made the rounds a few years back said "if you think education is expensive, try ignorance." Looks like a majority of NH pols are going to give it a whirl.
These crazy bills designed to destroy public education should give pause to even the most die hard Tea Party/Free State conservative. A poor education system in your town will lower your property values. Destroy public education and see how much your lovely NH home will bring! Good public schools are vital to a strong economy where everyone benefits.