I started out against the voucher program in Wisconsin, even organizing a letter from the Janesville School Board to our lawmakers opposing this effort. Later, I decided to research vouchers/charters and their tax credits/scholarships to understand them better. I didn’t study existing private schools, unless they were involved with vouchers.
Gov. Tommy Thompson started Wisconsin’s voucher system in 1990 in Milwaukee. It has grown, and other programs have emerged throughout the country. With thousands of voucher programs in 20 states, solid evidence for evaluation should exist. From Florida’s scholarship programs, Texas’ charter schools, Indiana and Louisiana’s charter-to-voucher adjustments, Tennessee’s Muslim question, and other adaptations, I searched for answers. Surprisingly, very little documentation of results exists, and what is available appears to be selectively picked.
Private companies and their associations have created the “mantra of choice and competition” for the impoverished, challenged and underperforming. This method focuses on the hopes and fears of parents. It also labels public schools and teachers as culprits, while ignoring social-economic factors, dwindling funding, or lack of parental involvement and responsibility.
Much more on vouchers, here.