Louisiana offers bad model for education

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After suffering through several of Dr. Morris’ boring autobiographical letters that serve as a long-winded introduction to biased and often misinformed dissertations on the ills of our society and criticisms of the plans of progressives, I have now read something so outrageously misinformed that it should destroy any credibility he may think he has.

He obviously knows nothing about what is going on in Louisiana. The state has begun implementing a voucher program that will move students out of the public schools into privately run schools at taxpayer expense. Sounds good, at least to Dr. Morris.

Here comes the catch. Louisiana officials will not impose teacher standards. Voucher schools will not have to administer tests required in the public schools. 

They will not even be judged on their methods or curriculum. Parents will be entrusted with evaluating the quality of the education, according to the state school superintendent.

Potentially the state of Louisiana will have over $1 billion dollars per year of taxpayer money (Note: taxpayer = public money) to pay private for-profit and non-profit schools, without any assurance that the money will be well spent. 

Almost all of the 125 schools that have applied to accept vouchers are religious-based.  Many teach a curriculum from an education ministry which states that the schools are “arms of the church.” Many teach creationism.

Certainly, it can be argued that parents should be able to put their children in good schools in order to get a good education, but who will be setting standards in Louisiana? 

If the opinions of the supposed heads of the educational system are as stated, isn’t this an argument for having the U.S. Department of Education set standards? 

And, by the way, what happened to separation of church and state?

It is well known that there are all too many examples of failing educational systems. We know that we are faced with the  challenges of radical change of the systems and, beyond that, remediation of the many complex causes that contribute to failures. 

The future requires that we get going. Our economic future depends on a well educated population that will be prepared for the needs of the future. 

Certainly, Louisiana’s example is not the way to accomplish these goals. 

 

Esther Confino

New Hyde Park

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