Monday, April 06, 2009

The Next Best Thing

Well, charter schools are all the rage, but before the "reformers" could push charters, they were pushing vouchers. That's when we, the taxpayers, get to pay for out and out private schools, rather than "nonprofits" that pay the likes of Eva Moskowitz 370 grand a year. Doubtless Ms. Moskowitz gives it all to charity and lives in a cardboard box outside one of her schools.

In any case, vouchers are still alive and well in Milwaukee, and they seem to be doing a heckuva job:

Often they were forced to carry their desks over their heads. One student who wasn’t well fell asleep in class and had a pitcher of water poured over his head. Several students, including one who is just six years old, said that if they broke the school’s rules, they were punished by having their arms twisted behind their backs until they said, “I give.” A nine-year-old girl said she was punished by being forced to carry around a bag of sand. Others were made to do push-ups on milk crates until their arms throbbed.

And this at a cost of a mere 4.5 million to taxpayers. Well, that's certainly a more innovative approach than just making calls home and trying to force improvement. Doubtless that's why voucher schools like this one are so superior to public schools. The only problem, apparently, is that they aren't:
A recent battery of studies of the Milwaukee scheme by University of Arkansas researchers found that voucher students are doing no better academically than their peers in public schools

That's not all that impressive, is it? And studies like those perhaps explain why geniuses like Bill Gates and other idle rich ignoramouses now spend their time visiting and giving seed money to charter schools instead. Never mind the obvious--that 100% of charter school parents have proactive parents. Why do flunkies like NYC "Chancellor" Joel Klein write letters that not so subtly urge parents to pull their kids out of public schools and send them to charters?

Because there's a ton of money to be had in public education, that's why. Eva Moskowitz isn't the only one around here who stands to profit when we direct our tax dollars to private pockets. There's a potential bonanza out there, and the more public schools we can close, the more private entrepeneurs stand to benefit.

Clearly our abysmal health care system and financial collapse have taught us nothing. By privatizing our schools, moneyed interests want to make sure we never learn anything at all.
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