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

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Spellings Announces Nationwide Voucher Plan

Now we know what Spellings was doing this past weekend as the new research study emerged from the bowels of ED showing that, when poverty is taken into account, public school students do as well on tests as private school students. She was, in fact, planning a big event to announce the introduction of a piece of ED-crafted legislation that will introduced by Senate lapdogs, Alexander and Ensign, to initiate a nationwide voucher program. One can only be stunned by the audacity of these crusading privatizers, now no longer hiding behind the guise of seeking to improve public schools. Well, not quite guise-less. You see, the $100,000,000 offered by ED in 2007 is intended to offer vouchers only until the blacklisted public schools can be improved. Right. Of course, as NCLB guarantees a ever-increasing supply each year of more failing schools, we can assume this restructuring is going to take a long, long time.

Are there any remaining skeptics about this Administration's true intent? Now will Americans get motivated to save their schools? In case there are some remaining skeptics, here is the release from ED:

Secretary Spellings today made the following statement on the introduction of America's Opportunity Scholarships for Kids legislation:

Year after year, some schools fail to live up to the important standards that ensure our students get the education they deserve. President Bush and I believe that families in communities where schools fall short deserve choices when it comes to their children's education.

Today, we are one step closer to ensuring that parents can make choices that strengthen their children's future and give them a great start in life, regardless of their resources or the communities they live in. The President's America's Opportunity Scholarships program will help low-income students in under-performing schools transfer to the private school of their choice or sign up for intensive tutoring after school or during the summer.

We've already seen the power of choice in Washington, DC, when we launched the first federally funded opportunity scholarship program. With this new legislation, we will spread that success to communities across the country and give parents all over America the ability to make wise choices for their children's education.

I want to thank Senators Alexander and Ensign and Chairman McKeon and Congressman Johnson for introducing legislation today to enact a program that will benefit children and families all over America.

Here is the response from People for the American Way.

By the way, who do you think is lying here about the invisible study from this past weekend, Spellings or Grover?"

She [Spellings] said she had learned of the study — put out by a branch of the Education Department — only through the newspapers on Saturday and had not read it. She said that the Education Department had not tried to bury the report, as a teachers union leader had charged, by releasing it on a summer Friday. “My philosophy on reports out of the Department of Education is that we shouldn’t do it on a Friday,” she said.

Grover J. Whitehurst, director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the Education Department, said that the secretary’s office had received the report for review two weeks before its release.

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