DuBos: Voucher school accountability lacking

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wwltv.com

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 31 at 6:41 PM

In just a few weeks, several thousand Louisiana kids will move from public schools to private schools, thanks to Governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher program. And that’s the topic of this week’s Commentary by Eyewitness News political analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

Earlier this year, Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed a set of education bills through the Legislature at break-neck speed. He did it that way because he didn’t want anybody asking too many questions.

Fortunately, some folks did slow down the process just enough to require some levels of accountability in Jindal’s voucher program. Last week, state Education Superintendent John White announced the accountability rules.

White deserves praise for implementing tougher accountability measures than many expected from Jindal. The superintendent says private schools that take in at least 40 public school kids on vouchers must meet the same standards as public schools. That’s a step in the right direction, but the bar is not very high.

The truth is, the vast majority of private schools in the voucher program will take fewer than 40 students, so they won’t be subject to a lot of scrutiny. And no school is likely to face consequences for failing to measure up until it has been in the voucher program for four years.

That seems like a long time to wait before taking action against failing schools. After all, vouchers are supposed to put kids in better schools, not just different schools.

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