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1 Lousiana schools voucher program on Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:07 pm

gypsy


Moderator
State money will continue to flow to scores of private and religious schools participating in Louisiana's new voucher program even if their students fail basic reading and math tests, according to new guidelines released by the state on Monday.

The voucher program, the most sweeping in the nation, is the linchpin of Louisiana's bold push to reshape public education. The state plans to shift tens of millions of dollars from public schools to pay not only private schools but also private businesses and private tutors to educate children across the state.

Republican Governor Bobby Jindal and other voucher advocates see the plan as a way to spur competition among schools and to expand parental choice. Critics, including teachers' unions, argue that vouchers unfairly divert vital tax dollars from public schools.

The Louisiana vouchers cover the full cost of private school tuition for poor and middle-class children who would otherwise attend a low-performing public school. In pushing the plan, Jindal and State Superintendent of Education John White promised to hold the private schools accountable for student achievement.

White said the accountability system unveiled on Monday would do just that.

"We're going to let parents choose the school that's right for them, and then we will hold those schools very accountable for their outcomes," White said.

Critics complained of gaping loopholes.

"I think it's window dressing," said Steve Monaghan, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. "It doesn't have any real teeth in it."

Under the new rules, schools will not be penalized for poor scores on state standardized tests if they have fewer than 40 voucher students enrolled in the upper elementary or secondary grades. Those schools can continue to receive state funds even if their voucher students fail to demonstrate basic competency in math, reading, science and social studies.

White estimated that 75 percent of the 120 private schools in the voucher program this year will fall into this protected category.

Schools with larger enrollments will get a numerical grade from the state based on their voucher students' test scores. A school that scores less than 50 on the 150-point scale will lose the right to bring in new voucher students. But it can continue to receive public money indefinitely to serve students already enrolled.

SMALL CHRISTIAN SCHOOLS

More than 10,000 students across Louisiana have applied for vouchers to attend private schools. A handful of seats are open in the state's most prestigious private schools, but most of the available slots are in small Christian schools with scant track records.

The new guidelines permit state officials to boot private schools from the voucher program if they demonstrate "gross or persistent lack of basic academic competence."

But White said he did not intend to micro-manage the private schools' curricula or approach to teaching. Some of the schools the state has approved for voucher students use Bible-based science textbooks and other controversial teaching approaches.

Lance Hill, executive director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research in New Orleans, said the new guidelines failed to hold private schools to the same academic standards as public schools.

"Almost all the voucher schools are religious schools," Hill said, "and many use an evangelical curriculum that teaches that humans walked the earth 6,000 years ago with dinosaurs. Do I, as a taxpayer, want my taxes to support that as a proper education in science?"

Louisiana's two teachers unions have filed suit to block the voucher program. The Louisiana School Boards Association and dozens of local school districts are also challenging the program in court.

I do not agree with this program!

http://news.yahoo.com/louisiana-sets-rules-landmark-school-voucher-program-002512991.html



2 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:28 pm

SSC


Admin
It is about time the education of Louisiana is held accountable, this state has some great schools and some terrible ones as well as teachers, dropping tenure, the new rules on accountability of teachers on the pass and fail ratio is a long time coming. Jindal took a big chance in revamping the system here, but in the long run it will give children the opportunity for a fair shot at education.

3 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:38 pm

gypsy


Moderator
so you approve of no public schools? what happens to the poor people who can't afford private schools? what happens to the teacher of public schools with no job, if there isn't public schools?certain religious beliefs are taught? what happens to free choice?

4 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:53 pm

runawayhorses


Owner
gypsy wrote:so you approve of no public schools? what happens to the poor people who can't afford private schools? what happens to the teacher of public schools with no job, if there isn't public schools?certain religious beliefs are taught? what happens to free choice?
Its says here:

"The Louisiana vouchers cover the full cost of private school tuition for poor and middle-class children who would otherwise attend a low-performing public school."

That sounds to me like if you can't afford it the state will pay for it.

Who are the "Louisiana vouchers"??

I didn't see anywhere that it mentioned doing away with public schools.

The public school teachers won't lose anything that I can see. They are just going to shift the kids around. I don't think it will put anyone out of work.

5 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:51 pm

gypsy


Moderator
True I reread it,it just doesn't seem like a good thing, but maybe I am wrong

6 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:17 pm

SSC


Admin
The new laws go much deeper than this article, the Charter schools are a good thing as far as educating the underprivileged kids, there is not enough vouchers for all of them but 10,000 is a start. Other laws have been put into place on teacher tenure and accountability, a teacher now must have a certain ratio of pass to fail to keep their job. Seniority will no longer be a factor, the class room success will make or break them. Finally !!!!!

7 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:29 pm

gypsy


Moderator
Does that mean there will not be no public schools? will the state buy the vouchers?

8 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:44 pm

SSC


Admin
There will still be thousands of public schools, alot of the money is coming from cuts Jindal has made on wasteful spending, some BP money and even interest money from FEMA . Also there is the revenue from the casinos that is earmarked for education. The Fed. has invested some from an education fund but not as much as the state has.

9 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:50 am

runawayhorses


Owner
SSC wrote: a teacher now must have a certain ratio of pass to fail to keep their job.
You know what will happen with this? Teachers will give students a passing grade just to keep there ratio up so they can keep there jobs. Its done all the time even now without the law, but you put a law in place its a guarantee teachers will pass students that wouldn't otherwise have passed just to keep there jobs. That law does not encourage anything but abusing the system by the teachers. Teachers do it anyway without the law just so they don't look bad, but you put a law into place that says they must have a certain ratio of passing students or they risk losing there jobs you can bank on it this kind of abuse will be increasing. Its a bad law in my opinion, I would have voted against it if I had a say in the matter.

You should keep the burden of failing on the students not pass it onto the teachers.

10 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:51 pm

SSC


Admin
It was not up for vote, these teachers need to be held accountable for what they teach, example : last year my granddaughter 9th grade had an EOC test (end of course ) a make or break test on passing to the 10th grade, she is a 4.1249 student, she studied her notes from the whole year, the teacher gave the kids 1 week to review with no question time in class. She passed with flying colors but 10 of 25 failed the test. Since this was an algebra test it sent those 10 kids to summer school for 6 weeks at the cost of 500.00 per student, or they failed the year in the class, the next option is if they pass the other subjects, they will take Alg 1 and Geometry this year since 4 math credits are required to graduate.

11 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:02 pm

runawayhorses


Owner
Yeah but that doesn't change what I just said. The system now encourages teachers to cheat to hold there jobs. And they will cheat. No one wins with that law/rule. The only way to ensure a better education is to hire teachers that want to teach the kids and care. Most do it for the money. There will never be a perfect fix for this because it must start with the kids wanting to learn.

I stand by my statement that it is a bad law.

12 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:07 pm

gypsy


Moderator
My thoughts are again controlling who get's what,. Do parents get to choose which Private/religious school their kid goes to?
this voucher program has failed any many states,I think the first one started in Pennsylvania in the mid 1800's I don't think it was successful.

13 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:27 pm

SSC


Admin
Vouchers is nothing new down here, this has gone on for years, but they are opening up more schools that will take them is all this is about.
Tyler, of course a teacher needs to do her job and a child also needs to do theirs, but you have situations where parents are illiterate and can't afford a computer which these days is mandatory to have access to, the teachers know there are end of year tests that will make or break a kid, LEAP-SAT-ACT- PSAT- and a host of others not graded by the teachers but state tests. If the teacher is preparing a class there should be no problem, but there are huge problems, even with tutoring offered before school, after school and during lunch some kids are struggling, class ratio is way to high. These new laws are a step in the right direction, but it will take years to turn the school system around. Any attempt at change is better than nothing being done.

14 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:38 pm

gypsy


Moderator
Bobby Jindal Is Mooning Louisiana 72
by Lamar White, Jr • Education
http://cenlamar.com/2012/02/05/bobby-jindal-is-mooning-louisiana/

A few days ago, The Wall Street Journal compared Governor Bobby Jindal’s plans for education reform to Newt Gingrich’s plans for a moon colony. And they weren’t being facetious or ironic. Quoting from their article “Jindal’s Education Moon Shot“:

Newt Gingrich wants the U.S. to return to the moon, but as challenges go he has nothing on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s school reform plans.

Mr. Jindal wants to create America’s largest school voucher program, broadest parental choice system, and toughest teacher accountability regime—all in one legislative session. Any one of those would be a big win, but all three could make the state the first to effectively dismantle a public education monopoly.

In an attempt at praising Jindal’s “reform” efforts, The Wall Street Journal unwittingly reinforced something most rational people already understand: Like Gingrich’s pitch for a colony on the moon, Jindal’s plan for education is irrational, untested, grandiose, and absurd. But at least they got one thing right: While Jindal and company attempt to convince us that they’re merely proposing scholarships, the simple and obvious truth is that they are calling for “America’s largest school voucher program.” Let’s get this out of the way: Jindal’s voucher plan is comically infeasible and impractical. From The Times-Picayune:

Under Jindal’s plan, about 380,000 students would qualify to receive state aid for tuition at a private or religious school, (Senator) Landrieu pointed out.

But even if every private elementary school in the state could immediately grow its enrollment by 10 percent to accommodate an influx of voucher recipients, only about 8,000 seats would be available. Include private high schools and that figure rises to about 11,200.

Jindal, by the way, did not dispute these numbers. He didn’t dispute that his voucher plan cannot and will not work, that there is no possible way he could ever deliver on his promise. Instead, his spokesperson said that Senator Landrieu was “missing the point.” No, no, she’s not. She’s speaking precisely on point: Jindal cannot deliver right now.

Thus far, unfortunately, teacher unions and the superintendents are playing right into Jindal’s hands. The teacher unions are harping on teacher pay and benefits; the superintendents, who stand to gain even more discretionary powers, are distancing themselves as quickly as possible, hoping to appear as apolitical as possible. I wonder, though: Are any of these people aware of the end-game here? Because Jindal’s proposals about performance-based pay and tenure are just window-dressing. On their own, they’re radical, to be sure, but not nearly as radical as Jindal’s end-game. Ultimately, Jindal’s goal, as The Wall Street Journal notes, is not merely to create the country’s “largest voucher program;” it’s about using taxpayer dollars to establish an undemocratic, unprotected parallel education system.

Senator Landrieu points out that we simply don’t have enough private-school openings to accommodate even a fraction of the kids to whom Jindal plans to give vouchers. She’s right, and on its surface, this makes Jindal’s plan foolish. Except vouchers aren’t really the issue either. Surely, Jindal is smart enough to know his numbers simply don’t add up, that there is no possible way he could ever deliver vouchers to even 5% of the kids who qualify. It’s a sham. And it’s meant to be a sham. It’s meant to provide the Governor with the ability to establish a threshold of public dollars per student that Louisianans would be willing to contribute toward the development of a parallel charter and for-profit education system and infrastructure. And he’s aiming at $8,500 per student per year. Again, this is precisely why Mr. Jindal unveiled his program in front of the largest group of business lobbyists in the State of Louisiana; there is a ton of money to be made in privatizing public education.

Mr. Jindal’s proponents will likely point to the charter school model created in New Orleans after the storm. There are many good people doing exceptional things in charter schools and in the Recovery School District, but sorry, it’s absolutely absurd to attribute any marginal successes in New Orleans education to a business model. When charters fail and when charters go bankrupt, which is the case more often than proponents would have us believe, it can be abruptly catastrophic for students and their families. And because of the way most charters are structured, there is little to no accountability when they fail.

I, for one, am tired of Bobby Jindal “experimenting” with Louisiana. Despite the fact that his diploma is from one of the finest public high schools in the country, Baton Rouge Magnet, I don’t believe he is an advocate for public education. For months, my buddy Zack Kopplin, a fellow graduate of Baton Rouge Magnet, pestered the public and the media about the Louisiana Science Education Act (the LSEA). If you need any evidence that Mr. Jindal doesn’t care about the quality of public education, then all you need to do is look at the LSEA, a pernicious and likely unconstitutional piece of legislation that allows public schools to substitute science with religion, a piece of legislation that was brought to you and funded through the generous contributions of the radical religious right– groups like the Discovery Institute and the (in my opinion, shady) Louisiana Family Forum. Mr. Jindal, a Biology major from Brown, likely knows better; he was even criticized by his own college biology professor. But while Mr. Jindal doubled-down on the radical right and signed a bill undermining the integrity of science education in our public schools, Zack did something else: He received endorsements from over 71 Noble Prize laureates calling for a repeal of the law. You know how many Nobel laureates have endorsed Governor Jindal? None. Zero.

When he signed the LSEA, Governor Jindal wasn’t guided by any metrics of academic performance; he wasn’t concerned with preserving the integrity of the institution of public education. Mr. Jindal was merely playing politics. And so it is with his proposed overhaul of education.

The inconvenient truth, ironically, is that public schools in Louisiana have improved during the last few years. Our graduation rates have increased by nearly 6% since 2001; we’re closing the so-called “achievement gap;” test scores are up. There’s no reason to suddenly panic, and certainly, there’s no basis for attempting to completely overhaul the entire education system.

Louisiana, we don’t need to be, once again, turned into Bobby Jindal’s experimental laboratory. We tried that once before, when he was Secretary of the DHH, and it didn’t work out well at all.

Mr. Jindal, despite his impressive academic pedigree, is and has always been manifestly and vehemently opposed to a robust and successful public education system. Our charter schools in New Orleans may be performing better than comparable schools were before the storm, but, really, so what? Who is to say that our public schools wouldn’t have rebounded just as well, had they only been given the same resources, priorities, and treatment as our charters? We strip money from public education, give it to private and quasi-private charters, and then, we wonder about why charters are out-performing public schools. We’re being dangerously naive.

Louisiana is still at the bottom of many public education rankings, and without any doubt, there is a lot of work to be done. But think about this: Every single state that is ranked higher than Louisiana is working with the same toolkit. They’re not giving millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to build a parallel system of education more adept at maximizing private-sector profits (no, this is definitely Bobby Jindal’s “moon shot”); they’re beating Louisiana because they’re investing in themselves. We, on the other hand, are being led by a man who seems all too eager and willing to privatize the most important public institution in the United States of America- the right to an education.

If Bobby Jindal wants to reform public education in Louisiana, then he needs to go back to the drawing board. If he is serious, then he needs to begin talking with educators instead of business lobbyists and radical fundamentalists. If anyone should profit from public education, it should be the people who actually invest their own money, not those who use public dollars for the expressed purpose of dismantling public education.

And if not, Jindal will continue to moon all of us, as he flies toward America’s newest extraterrestrial colony, a slab of rock hurling around the earth, a place that appears in phases and adheres to its own cycles, a land called Gingrich.
Spread the word

15 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:51 pm

SSC


Admin
do you have a link for that article ?
Opposition is nothing new either, Landrieu is not always speaking for the betterment of the state, she is from a big political family (Moon her father and Mitch the mayor of New Orleans ) with high dollar ties some very shady and she is more interested in bumping up her standing in politics. I think Jindal is trying anything he can do to educate these children, it is a known fact private schools are selling grades, but if all the schools are put under the scrutiny of state and federal education regulators, including the BESE board then hopefully Louisiana can climb up from the rank of 49 in the US in education. Anything is worth a try.

16 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:53 pm

gypsy


Moderator
It is right at the top Dear~

17 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:56 pm

gypsy


Moderator
No!! If based on political agenda to give more to the rich than the working class/and poor.

18 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:22 pm

SSC


Admin
It is not political, your site basically a blog did have some very good replys from La. teachers, this voucher system has no place in a political battle, this is about educating the children of Louisiana. Surely you are not against bettering a childs chances.

19 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:29 pm

gypsy


Moderator
Jindal is playing politics,this reams of Right wing control over public education..aren't all opinions blogs? also consider fox a blog.. private religious schools yes iIam against it, especially when most of Louisiana private schools are catholic, religion should be taught at home, and churches
I do believe bible and other things should be considered History but not to teach baptist,catholic or any religion in school.

20 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:15 pm

SSC


Admin
Taking prayer out of school was the biggest mistake that could have been made. You really have no clue about Louisiana since you don't live here. Once again your fear of Fox blinds your vision of truth, but that is your thing. Not my problem.

21 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:39 pm

gypsy


Moderator
no true. I have many ties to Louisiana,..I do think taking prayer out of school , and the pledge was not a good thing.Fox is not truth it is one sided, biased.

May I ask,?I thought at one time you said you didn't believe in God?

22 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:48 pm

SSC


Admin
I don't believe in god what has that got to do with anything ? but it seems prayer in school was a binding point for many children. Our schools still do the pledge.

23 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:53 pm

gypsy


Moderator
we still do the pledge also, and we do have a silence when class first begins, in the morning's.let the kids quietly pray or mediate

24 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:11 pm

runawayhorses


Owner
I agree with taking prayer out of the schools. There is no place for religion in schools. There is nothing factual about prayers and is not a lesson to be learned. If you want to pray do it someplace else, but school is not the place for it. School is a place for learning.

I totally understand people not wanting there kids to be around that, especially young and impressionable kids. Schools are a place for everyone, not just religious people that pray.

Personally it wouldn't bother me if my kids witnessed that, but I understand it does some parents and there reasoning is sound.

There is nothing wrong with praying, nothing at all, but there is a place for that sort of thing and schools ain't it.

25 Re: Lousiana schools voucher program on Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:44 pm

SSC


Admin
At every school function they have a prayer led by a local preacher, all ball games, after baseball games the girls meet at the pitchers mound to kneel in the players prayer, been going on for years and not one parent has complained, but they took away the kids rights to meet in the hall and pray before school, now they must go to the flag pole area to hold their prayer group. No one is forced to do any of this, so who's right is it to take it away. Every one knows I don't believe, but that is my right just like it is their's to believe.

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