When the Vouchers Need Vouching

By Kenneth Cooper

Remember the days when Louisiana was a beacon of low-quality education, the days when parents would send their kids to school, and the education they received would leave them potentially unfit for college or to ever leave the state they called home? In those days, long before there was a pipeline from the school yard to prison, Louisiana was at the vanguard digging a trench. It was a path that would become well worn, one the uneducated could follow from the graduating stage to the land of limited job opportunities before reaching their fulfillment as wards of the state. 

Along the way, something happened. Public schools got a makeover as charters and started doing something unprecedented. They actually started educating, at least on paper. Eventually, most public schools’ performance scores began to grade out at a B or C , leaving a void of “uneducationality” dangling in the atmosphere. But nature abhors a vacuum, as the late and occasionally great Aristotle once said, so apparently the state’s private schools have stepped in to fill it.

Bring me your poor and uneducated and we’ll return them to you, poor and uneducated. That has become the unofficial motto of the state’s $40 million a year voucher program. The voucher program is one of the most destructive vestiges of Bobby Jindal’s reign as governor. Under the auspices of his proclaimed genius, the state has spent an estimated $280 million over the last 7 years ensuring that Louisiana retains some semblance of its reputation for keeping its youth devoid of education. 

The plan has been to take students from failing public schools and give them a state voucher to attend private ones. 7,000 students have undergone this educational lobotomy, but the only transformation has been the location at which they fail. In short, as Charles Dickens might say, the participating private schools turned out to be no better than the public ones. Most of them graded out at a D or F based on the voucher student’s standardized test scores.

Apparently, some private schools exist for the sole purpose of taking state money via the voucher program, being that all of their students receive vouchers.

In the annals of teachable moments, the $40 million a year voucher program has to rank as one of the most expensive moments of all time. But what is the lesson learned- that the participating private schools are as bad off now as public schools were before they became chartered because they inherited a bad batch of students? Or is it that private school’s low performance on public school standardized tests prove some test bias? Or maybe the state has come up with an ingenious way to partially protect itself from a brain drain. By investing so little in the developing brains of some of its citizenry, it can ensure that they don’t have the qualifications to get up and go. 


2 thoughts on “When the Vouchers Need Vouching

  • May 13, 2019 at 8:01 am
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    You’re absolutely correct in your analysis of this legal theft to Louisiana’s citizenry. The focus on educating the poor has never been a grave concern, especially in New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina exposed it as a poverty pimping city. If you educate the people then who would be left to make the beds and clean toilets in the tourism business? It’s agregious but it’s legal.

    Reply
  • May 14, 2019 at 9:17 am
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    This Child Teacher taught us…

    LBRC- Not All Kids are Lost! Lots are Special Gifts! One taught us this!

    Hear this before? 

    a. “Trump’s Base (Angry Caucasian Males et al)  is critical to his “Agenda”, though his agenda is hardly “Pro” their “Economic” Best Interest. But…? What’s the distinction between what #45 does to his Base and what so- called “Negro Coons” do to their “Frustrated/Angry Underserved” Black Community? 

    b. As underserved as is “Embattled Black Communities” are, why is it ‘Dat “The Average Negro” gravitates to inflamed “Rhetoric”/Negro Demagogue all form and fashion, Pandering and out and out “Deceivers”, and what #45 does to his Base of supporters, less “Effective Actions/Efficacy”, to alleviate impediments to progress? 

    ***Extrapolation of Young Kid?- Isn’t what Trump does to his Base in terms “Deception, the same as what “Negro Politicos and Complicit others, Apostate Preachers, plus so- called Coons do to the underserved Black Community? What’s the difference? Think Racism vs Classism- Negro Politico Sell Outs can’t be Racist in America (Complicit Yes!), but they can be “Classist” (Big “I” and Small “U”)! Lots regard “Political Status/Rank, Limited access to “Dominant” Society “Perks and Amenities”, as being indicative of “The Cut Above” aka “Eating High on The Hog”! Ironically, The Common Negro masses generally acquiesce! 

    *Disclaimer: The Young Kid Who revealed this issue did so verbally, and seldom submits his thoughts via script! Proof to us? “Conversations, 2 way,  with young people are “imperative”! 

    2. While some proclaim #45’s Base as dupes, who voted against their own self- interest, in fact- “There is no Discernible Difference between what Trump does to his base and what Negro Politico Sell- outs, Coons, Apostate Preachers and complicit others do to The Underserved African- American, ADOS Community!!! 

    3. We Proclaim? Thank You Most High for The Gift of Gifted Young Children!!! 

    Abba Father… 

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