Gainesville Sun: Lawmakers Need to Be Honest About Voucher Program


From the editors of the Gainesville Sun:

Lawmakers still haven’t addressed the fact that voucher recipients aren’t required to take the same standardized tests as public-school students. Private schools that receive vouchers are also exempt from state standards such as requiring that teachers have bachelor’s degrees.

About 80 percent of vouchers go to religious schools that, as Politico.com recently reported, sometimes shorting children on science education.

(Step Up for Students CEO Doug) Tuthill told Politico that states have no right to determine what kids learn beyond basic math, reading and writing skills.

“Once a child has strong literacy skills, they can educate themselves,” he said. “We don’t have to rely on schools, necessarily.”

As a greater share of state revenue is diverted to private schools, it’s incumbent upon lawmakers to be honest about the voucher program and fair in their treatment of public and private schools. Otherwise, the whole thing looks like one big bait and switch.

It’s really hard to fathom sometimes that Tuthill was once a teacher. I’m sure we will soon hear that both the Politico and the Sun took his words out of context or they were misinterpreted somehow.  This outrageous statement is a real eye-roller in Tallahassee. Especially when it comes from the CEO of an organization tasked with overseeing almost $1 billion in taxpayer money.

The Sun’s focus on lawmakers – mostly House republicans – is poignant. They are the one’s attempting to railroad a flawed mega bill and program that a shaky organization will control.

About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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2 Responses to Gainesville Sun: Lawmakers Need to Be Honest About Voucher Program

  1. “Once a child has strong literacy skills, they can educate themselves,” he said. “We don’t have to rely on schools, necessarily.”

    Yeah, he’s right.. But it helps for people have some guidance..otherwise we could do away with most of our High School curriculum and eliminate colleges altogether.

    On the other hand, people who’ve spent too much time in the academic world seem to believe people are incapable of figuring out anything that’s not taught in a classroom setting..

    One of the first things I noticed, when I got dragged into the education reform debate, was people have a lot different ideas about what the school system is supposed to accomplish.. The range goes from limiting them to the Old Three R’s at one extreme, to teaching Social Justice, Politically Correct Thinking and How Have Gay Sex (In 4th Grade) at the other..

    Might be an idea for the people, at a local and state level, to figure out what they want in exchange for their education dollars.. Let’s make the education experts (some who have neither classroom experience or even children) give us what we want, instead of letting them force their idea’s down out throats..

  2. They should probably stop that guy from talking anymore.

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