I’m sorry to title this post with such a tired cliche, but dagnabbit, it’s right on target again!
As you’re likely aware, Governor Corbett is attacking not just public higher education but all public education in PA. There’s legislation pending in Harrisburg that would transfer a huge chunk of the money Governor Drill-and-Kill (Drill the Shale, Kill the Schools) wants to cut from K-12 education into a voucher program.
From my early morning cruise through the blogosphere, two articles that help debunk the notion that vouchers are anything but money-stealers from public schools for private interests:
1. In Testing for Thee, but Not for Me, Kevin Drum reports the results of a study from Milwaukee Public Schools indicating (not for the first time!) that voucher-eligible schools are producing test scores that aren’t any better than their public school counterparts. So, all those lazygreedyunion teachers wouldn’t seem to be the problem, would they?
2. If you follow the KUXchange blog, you’ve seen them developing arguments, based on Naomi Klein’s notion of the Shock Doctrine, which holds (in simplistic terms) that the powerful often use rhetorics of crisis and disaster (shock) as smokescreens behind which they accrete power to themselves while people aren’t watching. In Monday’s HuffPost Education section, Timothy Slekar from Penn State-Altoona applies the Shock Doctrine directly to Governor Drill-and-Kill’s K-12 budget proposal. His most interesting finding, in my estimation, is that the voucher program in SB1, along with increased (you gotta be frackin’ kidding me!) testing requirements that add nothing to education, will ACTUALLY COST MORE than the proposed cuts would save.
Sometime later today, I’ll see if I can find this again, but about 6 weeks ago, I found evidence that the second largest individual contributor to the Corbett for Governor campaign is the guy who owns the Charter School Management firm that would profit the most from Drill-and-Kill’s “education reform” package. Gee. We’re surprised, aren’t we?