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More proof that DeVos and other politicians who support private school vouchers are wrong

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by Brian Washington

As if parents needed more proof that voucher schemes are bad for students, a new report is adding more fuel to the flame. It comes at a time when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and a host of conservative gubernatorial candidates this year are wielding vouchers, which give families your tax dollars to spend on private schools, as a weapon for dismantling public education.

The Center for American Progress recently released a study, based on the District of Columbia’s voucher program, concluding that the overall effect of it on students is the equivalent of 68 fewer days of schooling than they otherwise would have received had they just stayed in a traditional public school.

Erin Roth, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress

In other words, the students who participated in the D.C. voucher program lost more than one-third of a year of learning,” reads the report. “To be clear, translating this effect into days of learning is an approximation intended to help assess relative impact. In this case, 68 days lost is clearly substantial lost ground for students participating in the D.C. voucher program.

Erin Roth, one of the authors of the report, stands by the findings, even though she admits 68 days might not be an exact representation of the amount of time lost, but it’s very close.

“We’re not talking about a student missing a week of learning,” said Roth. “We’re talking about a substantial learning loss…more than a third of the school year.”

Roth says the analysis done by her and her colleagues builds on voucher evaluations in Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., which all show that students participating in these program fared far worse than their peers in public schools—especially in math.

“It is shocking for us to see policy initiatives (on vouchers) proceed in multiple states when we have such strong evidence of multiple impacts for students across several different statewide studies of private school voucher programs,” said Roth.

Roth says her findings go against the narrative being peddled by DeVos and those politicians who support her privatization agenda—that public schools are failing.

“It definitely does,” said Roth. “I think what we’re seeing is improvement in public schools across the last few decades.”


So what should parents take from all this? According to Roth, the news is pretty simple and chilling.

“I would share with any parent who asked that these impacts are relative to the experience your child would have in their traditional public schools,” she said. “So relative to what they would learn and experience in a public school, they would be doing worse in a private school voucher program.”

4 responses to “More proof that DeVos and other politicians who support private school vouchers are wrong

  1. We pay the most money for education and the Report Cards are mediocre!! There are other countries who are much poorer, spend far less and their children are BETTER educated! We are ranked like 35 or 37th!!! Public schools have become a lucrative gig with guaranteed raises every years, excellent benefits plus excellent retirement..etc…and the product they are putting out is CRAP…MEDIOCRE. The only reason people are against this voucher idea are those who are afraid of the competition it will create when parents send their children elsewhere and the money follows the child for the purpose of a better education!! WHY NOT…If I choose to send my child elsewhere for a better education the money should follow my child. I should not pay for a better education and yet still pay for other peoples children as well!! DEVOS has my support completely!

  2. Don’t allow Devoss to take money from public education and give it to private sector to make profit for their greedy pockets. Voucher schools are vulture schools. Greedily taking public school money without following any public school required mandates that are required by public schools without any penalty for misusing or abusing the money they receive. There schools are for private profits to the vouchure schools CEO,s.

  3. Every teacher and retired teacher should be watching with great interest what is happening. I am a retired teacher in Ohio and we have seen our retirement lessen from the original amount we received each year and now our COLA has been frozen for the next five years.

    Also our active teachers are now required to teach an additional five years before they can retire. The money that once went to public education is being eaten up by the charter schools and the money that went to retirement for public schools has now become profit for the charters.

    I am really upset with the number of retirees and actives that are proud to back our current president and the choice he has made to handle the federal money that used to go to public education. They have to be nuts

    1. I would say your pensions have been impacted by the loss of NCR, GM, Delco, Mead and a number of other companies that no longer operate in Ohio more than it has to do with charters. Fewer jobs means less taxes to support the pensions.

      In Dayton, numerous schools have under 30% enrollment yet they refuse to close schools.

      People leave public schools because they are failing the students. Or not keeping them safe. Or both.

      You want to stop the flight from public schools? Bring back detention, Saturday School, and in-school suspension. End mainstreaming, and simultaneously address the farce of manifestation hearings. End standardized testing. Charter schools are not the problem. They are the result of the problem.

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