My response to an indvidual who supports vouchers and who attended a forum held in Chalmette and other areas throughout the region:
I believe the parent's issue was addressed. I will be the first to acknowledge that some of our schools need to be transformed. No one is denying that school improvement is necessary.
The major question in this discussion is how do we improve education when the money is siphoned away to schools or programs that are not expected to apply the same accountability rules?
On-line course providers hailing from out of state and other programs that lack an accountability component will receive taxpayer dollars and are not held accountable. The scores of students participating in these on-line choice programs will go back to the student's base school; whereas, the school or school district is relinquishing funds to a provider that may or may not provide quality instruction.
Why don't we require the schools accepting vouchers to be graded as a whole rather than incorporating exceptions, such as the number of students participating in the voucher program. (Those schools accepting vouchers should be held to the same standards as traditional schools. Administer the same exams and issue a grade to the school just as required for traditional public schools.) Why not? This is what competition supports! How do we measure the success of the school or programs if this does not occurr?
Now to your question: This proposal to segregate children is unconstitutional and you, of all people, should stand up to Dr. King's legacy.
Yes, I said it! This education reform in Louisiana is about privatization and greed. Out of state entrepreneurs will become richer off the backs of our minority children and you know it.
Let's come together as a community to fix the problems as communicated by the parent in Chalmette instead of creating a larger achievement gap. If this reform continues as it is happening and as ALEC has written, there will be many losers--our students, education stakeholders, and the legacies of many before us who have fought for equality and accountability.
This was posted by Lottie Beebe, Superintendent Elect of St. Martin Parish and Member of the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE).