Seven Days of Deception: ‘School Choice Week’ Is Over
“National School Choice Week” treated us to an avalanche of propaganda for vouchers, neo-vouchers and other expressions of so-called “educational choice.”
It’s all a lie, of course. This is not about “choice.” It’s about funding religious and other private schools with taxpayer dollars and ultimately destroying the public school system.
If you think the Heritage Foundation, the Koch Brothers and Betsy DeVos are in this just to help to some poor kid in the inner city, they’ve got a privatized bridge in Brooklyn they want to sell you.
Fortunately, Americans United and other advocates of public schools and church-state separation have been spreading an alternative message: School vouchers are a constitutional and public policy disaster.
AU has waged a Twitter campaign this week to expose the voucher forces’ prevarications. And we’ve put up a special webpage to outline the facts about vouchers. (We have a tumblr page you might enjoy as well.)
Others are weighing in, too.
* Journalist Barbara J. Miner says vouchers in Milwaukee have been “an educational policy disaster.”
* The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law says vouchers undercut civil rights and “violate the promise of equality.”
* Anti-creationism crusader Zack Kopplin says vouchers subsidize private religious schools that teach fundamentalist doctrines instead of sound science.
* Patrick Elliott, a staff attorney with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, says voucher-subsidized private schools in Milwaukee indoctrinate children in religious beliefs but often offer poor academic instruction. Clara Mohammed School, for example, takes children on a “Qu’ran-guided journey” but fails to take them anywhere else. “It is funded,” says Elliott, “almost exclusively through vouchers. In 2011, only 0.8% of its students -1 out of 123 - tested proficient in math and 5.7% tested proficient in reading on state exams.”