Friday, February 13, 2015

Republicans Continue to Make Education Policy Even Worse

When I read what was in Senate Bill 470, I was shocked.  I had to read it again just to make sure I understood it correctly.

Apparently, the bill states private schools accepting public voucher funds will no longer have to adhere to the ISTEP Testing guidelines and can use other national standardized tests in its place if the bill passes.  That's right, we now have a separate and unequal system of education in Indiana.

Public schools continue to get castigated by the Republican Party and Democrats that support the reform efforts.  They continue to undercut traditional public schools with bad legislation like that cited above.

You see, I believe in competition.  That's what the reformers always talk about.  They talk about parent choice.  When the voucher program was sold to the public, it was limited in scope and students had to come out of failing public schools.  Since then, the policy on vouchers has morphed and changed.  Eventually, the vouchers were made more available.  Then, students didn't have to attend public schools at all.  Now, with this latest bill, the testing is being changed so that it's different than from what public schools are forced to do.

I can tell people are watching the Republicans screw up education policy.  Even my non-political friends are now posting about Governor Pence and his colleagues in the General Assembly.  The Democrats that enable the Republicans had better watch out or be taken down with them.

We all want good, quality schools.  They can be in any form: traditional public, private, or public charter.  I just want the competition to be fair and straight up.

This new bill continues to be destructive to traditional public schools and those students that depend on them.

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