Good Quotes

Does "choice" just mean private schools? Couldn't we just invest in public schools?

posted Feb 19, 2012, 7:30 AM by Bill Duncan

"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.

“school choice” = taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools

posted Feb 19, 2012, 7:23 AM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Feb 19, 2012, 7:23 AM ]


"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 Advocate, 

Vouchers = Tax Credits

posted Jan 25, 2012, 6:46 AM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Jan 25, 2012, 7:33 AM ]

The first sentence of the Calder study of competitive impact of the Florida tax credit voucher program on public schools says:
"Voucher options like tuition tax credit‐funded scholarship programs have become increasingly popular in recent years"

Voucher performance - not achievement but competition

posted Jan 24, 2012, 5:23 PM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Jan 25, 2012, 7:08 AM ]

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

Legislator "But they wouldn't do that!"

posted Jan 7, 2012, 12:26 PM by Bill Duncan

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!"  

From a semi-retired early childhood teacher and current legislator

posted Jan 7, 2012, 12:17 PM by Bill Duncan

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 get the picture.

This is supposed to make things better? 

From a legislator and teacher

posted Jan 7, 2012, 12:15 PM by Bill Duncan   [ updated Jan 7, 2012, 12:15 PM ]

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.

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