State voucher accountability plan has significant loophole
Louisiana's governor and schools chief are championing an "accountability" plan for private schools in the state's voucher program that doesn't hold these schools accountable if they have fewer than 40 voucher students. As this Reuters story—click here—makes clear, a school can allow up to 39 voucher students enrolled there to fail to show basic competency in reading, math, social studies and science and still keep receiving state funds. As it turns out, most of the schools participating in the voucher program for the school year that begins in August will be covered by this provision. What happens to schools with 40 or more voucher students? Not as much as you might think. Schools will be assigned a numerical grade based on the standardized test scores of their voucher students; if a school score is less than 50 out of 150 points, that school can't bring in any more voucher students. However, it still can receive public money, and it won't have to expel or transfer the voucher students already there. This plan is being championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, the man that presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has praised specifically for his education policies. Jindal is said to be on Romney's short list for vice president, but a Cabinet post as secretary of education may be more likely role for him. The issues of vouchers is one area in education policy where there is a sharp division between Romney and President Barack Obama. Obama opposes vouchers. To read more in The Washington Post, click here.
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