I don’t mean to pick on Governor Bobby Jindal but it is fascinating to watch the evolution (or should I say “the creation”) of his voucher program.
First came the news that many of the schools that are taking voucher students had no facilities or teachers. Then we learned that many of the little schools opening their doors are Bible-based church schools that teach creationism and use textbooks in history, science and other subjects from Christian publishing houses. Then it turned out that no one at the state department of education had vetted any of the schools that were approved to receive the students “fleeing” l0w-rated public schools. Then the Commissioner of Education John White said that the letter informing the schools that they had been approved really was not a letter informing them they had been approved.
What he actually meant to say, he said, was that the letter of approval was just a letter of “preliminary” approval, and they were going to be vetted for real approval.
But it gets worse (or better, depending on your point of view). According to an article in a Louisiana newspaper, the state will not require voucher-receiving schools to have certified teachers, to have modern technology or to accept students with disabilities.
I hope someone will find the time to explain why they expect to improve the education of these children by sending them to schools that lack the essentials required even of so-called failing public schools. Other than saying that parents in Louisiana know what’s best, Commissioner White has not offered a persuasive answer. If that were true, why does no one listen to the parents who oppose the closing of their public schools? When John White worked in New York City, he never cared what parents wanted for their children when he closed their neighborhood schools and replaced them with charters.