Superintendent on voucher bill: What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander (video)

Members of the House Education Committee will wait until next week to vote on the “Opportunity Scholarship Act”, but State Superintendent June Atkinson left them with something to ponder at Tuesday’s hearing.

Dr. Atkinson told lawmakers if public schools were going to be judged on an A-F grading scale, then private schools receiving taxpayer-funded vouchers should face the same scrutiny.

“Each school receiving taxpayers dollars should be graded in the same manner in order for parents to have the necessary information to make wise decisions,” said Dr. Atkinson.”If a grading scale of A-F is good for public schools, then it should be good enough for private schools.”

Atkinson also noted that under the current version of House Bill 944 nonpublic schools could select their own form of standardized tests, with no meaningful reporting requirement back to the public.

“This bill does not include the necessary accountability measures to ensure our taxpayer dollars are achieving better outcomes for our state’s children.”

To hear Dr. Atkinson’s full remarks click below. To learn more about the “Opportunity Scholarship Act” and how it was received in Tuesday’s committee meeting, read education reporter Lindsay Wagner’s post here.


  1. Retired educator

    May 21, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    If this were to happen there would be a lot of eyes opened to how poor the private schools, especially the non-catholic Christian ones are doing. Having worked in public education for two decades and dealt with dozens of students transferring in from those school, I got a clear view of how bad they were. Most are substandard at best.

  2. Educator

    May 21, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Private schools are rated on a scale called free market. Those schools that fail loose funding, imidiately. Those that do well grow. Unfortunately our current public school system can not see that because they have had a monopoly on our tax dollars and have been run on very liberal theories that have brought them to their current crisis. Yes there are wonderful public schools with wonderful teachers and if you are lucky enough to have the right zip code you might be able to attend one, other wise you have no choice but to attend a failing school filled with violence and drugs.

  3. School Social Worker

    May 22, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Whether or not the public schools has a liberal lens is not the issue. The issue in the Free market as you stated is the education that is lost on students who attend private schools. From the start of a child’s school life they need quality education everyday a school is in session. Wasting time but letting schools loose funding because a school is failing only hurts the student. I have no problem with any parent choosing the path of education they would like for their children. But all forms of education in this state need to be accountable.

  4. wncgirl

    May 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I suggest to EDUCATOR that you tour some of the segragated charters in Durham if you want to see how useless and destructive pvt. and charter schools keep operating even after they are proven to be failures

  5. FreeMarket

    May 22, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    One of the essential qualities of a free market is that the consumers have an opportunity to compare goods and services in a meaningful way. Dr. Atkinson’s suggestions are very pro-free-market: she’s just suggesting that parents be able to compare public and private schools using a standard metric. If private schools are actually doing a better job educating young people, then they deserve to gain market share. But, if what they are currently selling is mostly illusion, then the market should know that as well.

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