"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Report on Milwaukee Voucher Program

By Barbara Miner

Reporters often ask me for a 30-second sound bite on the quality of the private schools in Milwaukee's 15-year-old voucher program, the nation's oldest. I usually say there are good schools—especially those with stricter requirements and a history that pre-dated vouchers—lots of average schools, and some not-so-great schools.

That answer is history. It's increasingly clear that a disturbing number of voucher schools are outright abominations.

An investigation this June by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found problems in some voucher schools that—even to those numb to educational horror stories—break one's heart. No matter how severe one's criticisms of the Milwaukee Public Schools, nothing is as abysmal as the conditions at some voucher schools.

From Rethinking Schools Online. Get the rest of the story here.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:42 PM

    I was the 5K teacher at Labrew Troopers Military University School. I have included a letter that I emailed out to as many government officials as I could. The school has been abusing the children daily. I contacted child protection and after talking to many of the children they went to the police. The Det. came to my house during their investigation. I have asked if anyone had children that went to Labrew talk with your child, if they tell you they were harmed you need to call 414-220-7233 Child Protection, so that they can get justice for your child as well. I need the help of the voice of the community to make sure the police follow through on their job for justice for our children. It was only one hour or so after child protection went to them, that they told me that because the children didn't go to the hospital that they are thinking that they won't be able to do much. They came to this conclusion without listening to my tape evidence, talking with the children or the staff who have spoken up about the abuse. We must force the hand of the officials to do the right thing.

    Please Read My Letter:
    Glenda Haynes
    3837 W. Mt. Vernon Ave.
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208

    To Whom It May Concern:

    My name is Glenda Haynes. I have been working and volunteering in the community with youth for over 25 years. And I am writing to you to ask for your help in preventing the private (voucher) school “Labrew Troopers University School” owner Shan Owens from ever operating any school dealing with children; due to the serious physical , mental, and verbal abuse done to the children. There are also the dangerous conditions concerning sanitation of the day to day operations of the building.
    I began working with “Labrew in Oct. of 08, as a temporary job for myself as I awaited a position with the Sheriffs dept. It wasn’t long after working there that it became apparent that things were not right. Children were getting their arms bent as far up their backs as they could go, smashed face first into walls and a full run, dragged, arms pulled up into the air and then their wrist is bent trying to force their fingers to touch their wrist, and verbal abuse.
    Also, concerning the sanitation conditions, this building has no windows, no ventilation system to bring in air or circulate air. The bathrooms are filthy and we can go weeks without soap in them. There is no sink in the kitchen. I saw the cook washing two serving spoons in the girls bathroom sink. I video taped the cook washing the serving food pans in the slop mop sink. There is so much more, but it all can’t be put into this letter.
    I am requesting your assistance, as well as others. I am writing the President, going to the Journal, and calling child protection to go and get the stories of the children for abuse charges. When my efforts to try and change this place and making demanding complaints fell on deaf ears I started to collect evidence to take for help. I have tapped our last staff meetings and the video of the dish washing. But before I could get more the school has taken an early spring break (Mar. 9 – 23) due to owing the state over 200,000. What I understand is that they plan on closing and re-applying as another private voucher school. This can not happen please! I have already contacted my K5 class where I became the teacher. All the parents are willing to allow their children to tell their stories. Please I need your help, the children need your help.

    Sign Help,
    Glenda Haynes.