Category Archives: Funding

“Louisiana voucher students score almost 30 points below average on LEAP tests” (nola.com)

Perhaps Gov. Jindal’s education experiment needs to stop:

As Gov. Bobby Jindal tries again to fund his controversial school voucher program, new test scores indicate that many of the current students educated with public money in private schools are not thriving. Or at least they aren’t yet.

Released Wednesday, LEAP scores for third- through eighth-graders show only 40 percent of voucher students scored at or above grade level this past spring. The state average for all students was 69 percent.

For accountability purposes, students attending private schools at taxpayer expense take the same standardized tests as their peers in public schools. In 2011, when the voucher program operated only in New Orleans, students averaged 33 percent proficiency.

Now seven schools in Jefferson and Orleans parishes have results so low — less than 25 percent of voucher students proficient for three years running — that they have been barred from accepting new voucher students in the fall, as per state policy. In Orleans, the schools are Life of Christ Academy, the Upperroom Bible Church Academy, Bishop McManus, Conquering Word Christian Academy Eastbank and Holy Rosary Academy. In Jefferson, they are Faith Christian Academy and Conquering Word Christian Academy.

Read the rest of the article here.

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Filed under Education Reform, Funding, Politics, Testing, Vouchers

“School text book: Hippies were rude, didn’t bathe, worshipped Satan” (Salon.com)

It sounds like South Park’s Cartman is writing the 8th Grade textbooks for Louisiana’s taxpayer-funded voucher schools.  Here’s an excerpt from one of the books:

They went to Canada or European countries to escape being drafted into military service.

They went without bathing, wore dirty, ragged, unconventional clothing, and deliberately broke all codes of politeness or manners. Rock music played an important part in the hippie movement and had great influence over the hippies. Many of the rock musicians they followed belonged to Eastern religious cults or practiced Satan worship.

You can read the rest of the story here.

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“Louisiana Voucher School Students Taught Hippies Were Dirty, Rude, Rock-Loving Satan-Worshippers” (Huffington Post)

And that’s probably not the worst things being taught with taxpayer funds in Louisiana voucher-funded schools:

As Mother Jones documented last year, other nuggets of historical “knowledge” have included, “Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time,” “God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ,” and “The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well.”

You can read the rest of this story online here.

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Filed under Education Reform, Funding, Vouchers

Bobby Jindal’s school voucher program unconstitutional (washingtonpost.com)

One of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s signature accomplishments, a private school tuition voucher program, was ruled unconstitutional by a Louisiana judge Friday, the Associated Press reports:

State Judge Tim Kelley said Friday that the program improperly diverts money allocated through Louisiana’s public school funding formula to private schools. He also said it unconstitutionally diverts local tax dollars to private schools.

Kelley ruled in a lawsuit backed by teacher unions and school boards seeking to shut down the voucher program and other changes that would funnel more money away from traditional public schools.

You can read the rest of this story online here.

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Phony school “reform” agenda takes a beating (Salon.com)

The “tl;dr” version is the current-day “education reform” efforts are not true populist grass-roots movements.  The so-called “reform” efforts are the illegitimate love-child of conservative ideology and corporate greed.

The “reform” efforts were defeated in Colorado, Idaho, and Indiana.  Maybe one day the same thing will happen in Louisiana.

You can read the Salon.com coverage here.

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14 Wacky “Facts” Kids Will Learn in Louisiana’s Voucher Schools (MotherJones)

You won’t believe the crazy ideas being taught in Louisiana taxpayer-funded voucher schools.

“Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time” … “God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ” … “[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross”

All of this and more will be taught in Louisiana schools using taxpayer dollars:

Thanks to a new law privatizing public education in Louisiana, Bible-based curriculum can now indoctrinate young, pliant minds with the good news of the Lord—all on the state taxpayers’ dime.

Under Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help poor and middle-class students from the state’s notoriously terrible public schools receive a private education. While the governor’s plan sounds great in the glittery parlance of the state’s PR machine, the program is rife with accountability problems that actually haven’t been solved by the new standards the Louisiana Department of Education adopted two weeks ago.

For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who’s taken to Change.org to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19 that teach or champion creationist nonscience and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.

Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensacola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based “facts,” such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn’t have to.

Gutting the public education system in Louisiana in favor of teaching nonsense will not prepare our citizens for the 21st century.  And we won’t be able to attract the best in business and academia with Gov. Jindal’s so-called “reforms.”

You can read the rest of this story online here.

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“School vouchers are only beginning” (shreveporttimes.com)

More info on Gov. Jindal’s so-called “education reform” measures:

Of Louisiana’s 700,000 public school students back in class, 7,000, 1 percent, are attending private or church schools on state-funded vouchers. The proportion suggests that for all the commotion, from the Legislature to the courts, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s scholarship program will do neither much good nor much harm to the great mass of schoolchildren.

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