I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Friday, June 29, 2012

More Vouchers Won't Save Anyone

Tom Moran, via Twitter:
Real pity that Opp Scholarship Act is dead. Imagine having to send your kids to skul in Camden, with no escape.
That would assume there are private schools in Camden to escape to. From Gordon MacInnes:
There are not enough places in private schools with the experience and interest to enroll the number of students funded in the bill.
The 22,500 students attending "failing" schools in Newark, for example, can look to only seven Catholic schools (two of which are already filled), two independent schools and three evangelical schools offering perhaps 500 places (the evangelical schools do not teach to the New Jersey science standards and thus should not be eligible). The same paucity of opportunity prevails in Camden, Paterson and Trenton -- the cities with the largest enrollments in failed schools.
And there is no guarantee that those private schools would do a better job than the public schools, when accounting for student characteristics.

The "real pity" is that we continue to dither around the edges of actually doing something for kids in urban schools. Vouchers may be a nice way for some folks to assuage their guilt, but OSA won't "save" even a small fraction of the children that Abbott & SFRA have. So if we want to have an adult conversation about school environment and whether students should be segregated on behavior, let's go ahead and do that.

But cheerleading for vouchers and weeping for OSA is little more than a substitute for that conversation.

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