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

Saturday, January 07, 2006

What About the Other Adrians?

John Tierney of the New York Times just doesn't get it. Black students are losing, but it's not because of the five Democrats on the Supreme Court in Florida. Lamenting the fate of Adrian Bushell, a recipient of vouchers to attend a Catholic school, Tierney shows the warped logic of education reform that is leaving millions of children behind:

"Most of recipients have been black students like Adrian Bushell, whom I wrote about last year. Without a voucher, he would have attended Miami Edison, a big public high school in a poor area with a 94 percent black student body and a total of six non-Hispanic white students.
Instead, he's now a 10th grader at Monsignor Edward Pace, a Catholic school that is 24 percent black. His experience is typical. In other places that have tried vouchers, like Milwaukee and Cleveland, studies have shown that voucher recipients tend to move to less segregated schools.
Besides helping Adrian (who's got a 3.1 average and plans on college), the Florida program has also benefited students in public schools like Miami Edison. Because each voucher is worth less than what the public system spends per student, more money is left for each student in the public system. And studies have repeatedly shown that failing Florida schools facing voucher competition have raised their test scores more than schools not facing the voucher threat."

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