Thursday, April 11, 2013

Vos Admits Regulation of For-profit Schools Without Accountability

Tax Payers To Subsidize For-Profit Schools

Tax Funded = Government Regulated

Vouchers allow private and faith based schools to receive taxpayer funding without accountability to parents or taxpayers. I have no problem with private schools; there are many great schools with only the best interest of the children they serve in mind. Those who put the children over profits will accept the standards and accountability parents and taxpayers deserve.

Are they willing to accept the regulation that comes along with funding from the state?

Robin Vos (R- Rochester) admits they put in the budget a mandate for private schools to test their students. 
He also admits there is no accountability for voucher schools to provide accredited programs or certified teachers.

Are they setting up voucher schools to fail their students and the tax payers in the name of profits?
Do private schools understand the regulation that comes with allowing the tax payers funds to benefit their schools?

Republicans set public schools up to fail

There is no doubt there are suffering public schools. But it is not at the hands of the educators. Even schools recognized by the state as a top school last year are given a “C” rating. Republicans hand down the “set up to fail” tools and reward schools who are “performing” (do not have a lot of special education students, minorities or impoverished students) with more tax dollars from the state when they do not need them. LEt's talk about waste, fraud and abuse. Schools rated by Walkers tools “low performing” are punished with no funding to implement their plan to improve. In actuality, many are rated “low performing” because they have not raised taxes prior to Scott Walkers “tools” and are rendered defenseless. They publicize the “performance” ratings of public schools, where are the private schools report cards?

As originally reported by the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Scandal Rocks Milwaukee's School-Voucher Program

The schools are required to report virtually nothing about their methods to the state or to track their students' performance. Proponents say that frees the schools from onerous bureaucracy. But some say the lack of oversight makes them a prime target for abuse.

At the Mandella Academy for Science and Math, school officials admitted signing up more than 200 students who never appeared and then cashing $330,000 in state-issued tuition checks, which the principal used to buy, among other things, Mercedes-Benzes for himself and the assistant principal.

Agendas have consequences

Parents need to understand the consequences of the republican extreme agenda and work with the educators in whatever school they choose for their children and demand accountability to educate their children.

What will happen in a for-profit school when a parent is not happy with how their child is being treated?
It will not be with the same accountability there is in a public school.

Underfunded schools set children up to fail

In Milwaukee and Racine there is a high level of students who come from low-income families, whose parents are working two and three jobs just to put food on the table. High school students are forced to work to help pay the rent. The schools are old, some built in the 1800’s and incapable of providing basic things like WI-FI to engage the students in a way they can relate to. Teachers are left without resources to provide an education that will move these children out of poverty and hope for any kind of future beyond minimum wage.
Take these teachers and put them in one of their “performing” schools and those students will perform just as well. Move teachers at their touted “performing” school to Racine and see if they are demeaned and demoralized at the hands of Republicans sold out to for-profit education.

Parents have options without vouchers

In Wisconsin we have school choice; parents have the choice to send their children to another public school. Charter schools have oversight by the school boards, giving accountability to the tax payers and parents for their child’s education.
So why do we need vouchers? We don’t. The profiteers do.

Let’s be honest

Even if you are a proponent of vouchers, ask yourself, why would they not accept accountability to provide an education?
Why wouldn't for-profit schools accept the demand to provide certified teachers?
What about an accredited program? The public schools must live up to these standards.

Also originally reported by the Richmond Times Dispatch:
Meanwhile, Alex's Academics of Excellence received $2.8 million in voucher money over three years before the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the school's founder, James A. Mitchell, served nearly a decade in prison for a 1971 rape. Unlike their counterparts at public schools, principals and teachers at private schools do not have to undergo criminal background checks.
The state has suspended funding for Alex's because of financial problems, and a judge shut down the Mandella academy this year.
"I think across the community, there was outrage about what happened at Mandella. It finally raised the issue of accountability," said state Rep. Christine Sinicki, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation requiring more stringent financial oversight.
Mandella's principal, David Seppeh, does not have a teacher's license and was not required to submit any information about the school's philosophy or curriculum before receiving upward of $1 million in voucher funding.
The district attorney's office seized a Mercedes from his home. A criminal investigation is under way.
The Mandella school initially reported an enrollment of 476 students, but 235 of them did not show up.

Put them to the test

Public schools must provide testing to prove they are providing an education to the students they serve. Even though testing is not the only way we should be ensuring our children are receiving an education, without the accreditation how could they possibly perform well on the testing?
They set our public schools up to fail, and they set the private schools up to fail. They are setting our children up to fail.
Why do they not care if private school succeeds?  Easy money the tax payer funds are with Republicans in control, why would they care?

The bottom line

Past performance determines future behavior…
voucher schools in Milwaukee are not performing better than public schools.
Past behavior determines future performance…
Voucher schools in Racine take the money and run.

As Mother Jones reported back in 2011,
vouchers are not performing better than public schools.
Why would they take funding away from their
"poor performing-set up to fail public schools"
and give our tax dollars to schools
who have shown they are not performing better?

What happens when parents who are disgruntled with public schools take their child to a private school and realize they have no say in their child’s education?

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