Memphis teacher Jon Alfuth writes a compelling piece arguing against the adoption of vouchers in Tennessee.
Here’s an excerpt providing some very good reasons why vouchers should be looked at skeptically by Tennessee lawmakers:
Voucher programs also struggle to achieve their mission of providing low-income students with a way out of failing schools. For example a critical study of the Milwaukee program found that it overwhelmingly helped those already receiving education through private means. Two thirds of Milwaukee students using the voucher program in the city already attended private schools. Instead of increasing mobility for low-income students, the program primarily served to perpetuate status quo.
Voucher programs have also caused to students inadvertently attending failing schools, thereby maintaining the very problem they are meant to solve. It’s often difficult to determine the quality of the schools serving voucher students because private schools are not required to make public the same amount of student data as public schools. An example of this occurring can be found right next door in Louisiana where approximately 2250 students were recently found to be attending failing schools through the state’s voucher program.
Alfuth writes from the perspective of a teacher at a charter school who supports much of the current education reform agenda, including expansion of school choice. His concerns about vouchers are reasonable, fair, and insightful.
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