If you haven’t already done so, check out today’s edition of the Fitzsimon File in which Chris highlights the most recent cynical efforts of anti-government crusaders to cloak their efforts to dismantle public education behind a protective phalanx of poor kids and their families. As Chris notes in discussing yesterday’s efforts by voucher supporters to resist a broad-based lawsuit against the state’s new “Opportunity Scholarships” program:
“It’s an understandable strategic decision voucher supporters are making, claiming that their only concern is improving the education of poor kids. They’d rather not talk about their anti-government ideology that’s behind their crusade to dismantle public education, one of the last government institutions that enjoys widespread support.
That wouldn’t play well in the courts or with the public. People still overwhelmingly support public schools and oppose sketchy voucher schemes to divert education resources to unaccountable private and religious academies.
You don’t have to look very closely to see the contradictions in the claims by the right-wing groups behind the privatization crusade. One of the parents at a press conference organized by the Institute for Justice before the hearing said she wanted her child to attend a private school where the classes are smaller and he can receive more individualized attention.
It’s a common refrain from parents speaking for groups pushing voucher programs. But not only did the same General Assembly that created the voucher scheme remove limits on class sizes in public schools this year, the same right-wing tanks supporting vouchers tell us again and again that reducing class size doesn’t improve educational outcomes, that the state shouldn’t waste taxpayer dollars on reducing the number of students in a classroom.
It’s a safe bet that the think-tankers didn’t share their “research” on class size with the parent who spoke at this week’s press event. Or tell her that many students in the early grades will no longer get individual attention from teacher assistants to help them read thanks to the budget lawmakers passed last year that slashed funding for teacher assistants.”
Read the entire column by clicking here.