“Accountability” has been one of the buzzwords in education reform, both here in AZ and across the nation.
So teachers and schools are increasingly accountable for their kids’ achievement in school, even going as far as making up to half of teachers’ evaluations based on their kids’ test scores.
Well, not all schools, of course. Even if they profit from public funding.
Private schools are exempt from any testing requirements. But those same schools are increasingly profiting from the voucher programs our Republican legislators have created. In fact, a group of them met recently to recommend the continuance of a $60 million private school tax credit program (you can read about it here).
But here’s the thing: The same legislators who cry for more accountability from our public schools are noticeably silent about how those public millions are spent by private schools.
All that money going to private schools? We have no idea if attending those schools actually helps the students.
Because while our Republican legislators call for increased accountability for public schools — which is fine — they require zero accountability for their beloved voucher programs.
For all of the kids who use the voucher to go to private schools, no testing is required to account for the kids’ achievement.
In other words, the voucher advocates have no idea if this program they so call for actually works.
Spectacular hypocrisy: They are supposedly so careful about how our taxes are spent, yet with this program, they have no idea if the money they hand over is useful.
They always like to talk about the ROI, the return on investment. Yet here — with their pet program — they don’t have a clue about the ROI.
Azcvoices.com is a network of community bloggers created by The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News to highlight diverse viewpoints. Members' opinions do not represent the views of Republic Media.
Bio: Mike McClellan has lived in Arizona since 1967 where he attended high school and the University of Arizona. McClellan taught high school English for 36 years, including 30 years at at Dobson High School in Mesa. He has been a contributing columnist to both the East Valley Republic editions and the East Valley Tribune.