Friday, April 18, 2014

Privatization Ploy

By Jeff Simpson

Not that we need a study to tell us that voucher schools do not perform as well as public schools, we have the test scores to prove it.   Professor Gordon Lafer gave us one anyway:

A new report reveals that legislative moves to convert struggling public schools in Milwaukee into private charters─whether for-profit or non-profit─may actually damage the academic futures of far too many of the city’s children.

The report, “Do Poor Kids Deserve Lower-Quality Education Than Rich Kids? Evaluating School Privatization Proposals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,” was written by Professor Gordon Lafer in conjunction with the national think tank Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

A special briefing on this provocative study will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 24, in the ground floor rotunda of Milwaukee City Hall, 200 East Wells Street. You can join Dr. Lafer and public school supporters from the area to hear about the growing private charter industry and its impact–often negative–on Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and students.

There was a strong push by Wisconsin legislators in the last session to enact bills aimed at closing low-performing public schools and replacing them with less accountable, privately-run and often-for-profit enterprises. Considering many of the unanswered questions, EPI commissioned Prof. Lafer to actually look at the impact these privatization efforts would have on MPS.

The report is an eye-opening investigation into the rapidly growing private charter industry and the effects profit motivated schools can have on the depth and quality of education children receive.

Voucher and for profit schools perpetually get outperformed by public schools, and yet almost like clockwork, the tea party shows up to argue the wrong side of the issue(facts be dammed)!


U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a prospective presidential candidate in 2016, will be in Milwaukee next week hosting a school choice roundtable at St. Anthony School.

The event will follow a Chicago roundtable the day before and will be held at St. Anthony School's middle school campus April 23. The event is co-hosted by Hispanics for School Choice and the Libre Initiative, a national conservative Hispanic organization whose spokeswoman, Rachel Campos-Duffy, is married to U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.).

Paul, son of former Texas congressman and libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, is a Tea Party Republican, self-described "constitutional conservative." He's considered a likely 2016 presidential candidate.

St. Anthony's is Wisconsin's largest Catholic school. St. Anthony School president Zeus Rodriguez is also president of Hispanics for School Choice, a Milwaukee-based organization designed to reach out to and represent the Hispanic community on issues of school choice.

Milwaukee's school choice program is the country's largest and first for low-income students. It allows low- and middle-income students to attend participating private schools using state-funded vouchers to pay tuition.

It is funny to me that a serial plagiarist would talk about school choices.  Since he is not a serious student I would guess he does not care too much about your child's education.  

Also full disclosure, Zeus Rodriguez is the brother-in-law of  Assembly rep Jessie Rodriguez (R- Scott Jensen) whose seat was bought and paid for by the formerly convicted felon.   The Rodriguez has ALOT of personal money riding on the perpetual expansion of using public school dollars to line their pockets.

I will give them some credit though, they have not cashed in on our public school dollars the way their peers at Lifeskills Academy have

Also full disclosure, Mr. Rodriguez once invited me to come speak at his school and when I accepted promptly disappeared and apparently rescinded the offer.   I wonder how many on the roundtable will be anti voucher schools?

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