Friday, March 27, 2009

Where is the “Turnaround Team” for the Voucher Program?

Recently an analysis verified what many well informed people already knew, that Milwaukee voucher schools performed at just about the same level as Milwaukee Public Schools. People like DPI candidate Rose Fernandez and others on the extreme would have us "voucherize" the entire state claiming that these schools are somehow superior to public. This new study provides a much needed dose of reality for anyone that really cares about education in this state. One of the main tenets of the Fernandez campaign is to create what she calls a "Turnaround Team" for Milwaukee Public Schools. Since the voucher program is working as good (or as bad) as MPS, why hasn't Rose Fernandez proposed a "Turnaround Team" for the voucher program? And while I'm asking questions, is she proposing that we spend half as much on MPS or twice as much on the voucher program or both?

It seems pretty clear that Rose Fernandez wants to spread the voucher program all over the state. Since the voucher schools are functioning at the same basic level as MPS, is she saying that Milwaukee schools level of performance is acceptable for the rest of the state? She is talking about "changing" things but I don't think there are many around the state that would welcome that change. Either she is suggesting that we lower educational standards across the state or she is being strictly partisan and extreme in her blind support of the voucher program. It doesn't matter which it is because both are bad for our students and both are bad for education in Wisconsin.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you could make the point that Choice schools have the same performance, if not better, at half the cost.

Cory Liebmann said...

MPS is responsible for many more special ed students which requires much more time and cost. if voucher schools had to even come close with giving this same level of care, there would be no savings at all. so until you can compare apples and apples, this "half the cost" argument is bogus.

Anonymous said...

Really? What percentage of the total budget is special ed? Yes, it is more expensive, but enough to double the cost of every other student in the system?

Let's say that special ed is 10% of the system. For simple math, let's say the MPS student is $10,000 and the Choice is $5000 per student per year.

The special ed students would have to cost at least $55,000 per child, per year. While class sizes are certainly smaller is special ed - does this math add up?