Monday, January 16, 2006

This is clearly NOT about the kids

The RWB (right-wing blogosphere) seems to think this from Owen at Boots and Sabers is insightful:

... It’s about the kids. School choice is helping a lot of kids. Sure, it has some problems, but overall, it is helping thousands of kids who were not succeeding in MPS for whatever reason. It is also helping MPS, as shown by its improving statistics.

Instead of just lifting the cap to help educate more kids, Governor Doyle is trying to extract a price from the Republicans first by attaching all sorts of unrelated conditions to his signature. I mean, really… what does more money for SAGE have to do with lifting the cap on School Choice? Doyle won’t lift the cap without his conditions because then he would have “lost.” He needs to “win” to keep the support of WEAC. In reality, the only people losing here are the kids.

If Doyle and Folkbum would stop thinking of this issue as a “us vs. them” issue and start thinking of the kids, maybe we can actually educate some children.
We could, of course, just reverse that and say: If the Republicans were really interested in helping ALL Milwaukee kids, and not just trying to score some political points against Gov. Doyle, they would have worked out a compromise long ago.

This isn't about the kids. It's about mean-spirited electoral politics that is holding Milwaukee's kids hostage. The Republicans think they need to "win" 100% of what they want, while the kids suffer.

Another observation or two from someone (me) who supports school choice, but not what's happening right now:

If the idea behind choice is that parents should be empowered to make informed choices of where to send their kids -- public or private -- shouldn't they know how the schools compare to each other?

Isn't one good way to compare the scores on the same tests? Where have we heard that argument? That's right; it's the theory behind No Child Left Behind. If a Democrat took the position that Alberta Darling does, that testing should be optional, the GOP would be all over it.

What good does a longitudinal study do for parents? They find out in 10 years that they made the wrong choice for their kids? I bet most parents will figure it out long before any Georgetown researchers do.

Parents deserve information so they can make choices. Wisconsin taxpayers deserve some measure of accountability, since they will soon be spending $100-million a year on the choice program. Why aren't Owen and the fiscal conservatives saying that?


At 6:32 AM, Blogger krshorewood said...

The refusal of the GOP to put accountability into schools choice following up on the idiotic "no child left behind" program proves they are not only hypocrites, but that this is a thinly hidden move to bust their two least favorite organizations -- public schools and teachers unions -- by using kids.

Every time I hear Sykes talk that opposing school choice is being anti-child I want to vomit.


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