Nothing involving vouchers, school choice and ALEC-drafted legislation is going to turn out well for students or our nation's education system. North Carolina is one of several states wrestling with legislation that would create a backdoor for corporations to fund scholarships (read: vouchers) through handpicked nonprofits. In North Carolina, the corporations could then receive tax credits to divert up to $40 million of their state taxes.
Put three rockstars of the education world in a room together and you get this fantastic panel from last week's Netroots Nation on the future of public education, the importance of community organizing and the path towards systemic education reform to provide every child with a fair and substantive opportunity to learn.
What with New Orleans's massive charter school experiment routinely being hailed by proponents of corporate-style education reform as the new model for urban education, its refreshing to see a media story that digs into the evidence on why those charters should not, in fact, be models of reform.
The passage of a new education "reform" bill in Louisiana has put the state at the forefront of marketplace education policy reform. The "Jindal Law," named for Gov. Bobby Jindal, will drastically expand the state's voucher program and the number of charter schools, will institute a parent trigger mechanism and will remove teacher tenure. In other words, the bill is bad news for public schools, equitable funding and quality teaching.
Vouchers – as well as state-sponsored tax-credit programs that support private schools – are not the answer to ensuring America’s children have a fair and substantive opportunity to learn. These programs divert resources from public schools, affect a limited number of students and, most studies show, don’t improve children’s educational experiences.
Below are the key organizations to watch and listen to in the fight against vouchers and state-funded tax-credit programs.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
Below are organizations and studies documenting the harmful effects of vouchers on our nation's students and public school system:
Vouchers - as well as state-sponsored tax credit programs that support private schools - divert resources from public schools, privatizing public education by subsidizing religious and private schools. Moreover, vouchers affect only a limited number of students and, as many studies show, don't improve their educational experiences.
John Jackson, President and CEO of the Schott Foundation, and education historian Diane Ravitch reflect together on how our society has come to demonize public school teachers. How is it that people doing some of the most important work of our society are being abused, ashamed and humiliated? Doesn't this have to stop? Part 4 of 4.
Filmed and produced by the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education and Literacy.