Voucher graduation

Graduation rates are higher for Milwaukee students using vouchers to attend private schools, concludes a Manhattan Institute study. In 2003, voucher students had a 64 percent graduation rate, compared to a 36 percent for Milwaukee public high schools and 41 percent for “six academically selective public high schools, whose students are likely to be more advantaged than choice students.”

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  1. Mike in Texas says:

    A new study conducted by a leading national authority

    This isn’t a new study at all, just a review of two previous studies (paid for by Milwaukee Parental Choice Program)with new conclusions drawn by the author. The studies mentioned look at a total of 37 schools, some of which were public and some private. It would be interesting to see if someone familiar with Milwaukee could give us some info about how many high schools there are in Milwaukee.

    It also features another invented assessment instrument, The Greene Method. It seems every Manhatten Institute study invents a new assessment tool to prove public schools are failing.

  2. mike from oregon says:

    While I can’t address the Milwaukee situation, do YOU (as a teacher, you are a teacher, yes?) think that public schools aren’t failing our students?

    Granted, I know that a certain percentage of kids will probably fail no matter what. Combination of kids dead set against doing ANYTHING that the school asks them to do; parents who don’t care; etc. etc. etc. But overall, my question is do you really think that public schools are doing their level best to educate kids?

  3. Mike in Texas says:

    Mike in Oregon,

    I believe public schools are being hindered by so called reforms (ex. NCLB) and could do a better job if the politicians would butt out.

    IF the public schools in Milwaukee are only graduating 41% of their students than that is reprehensible. I, however, refuse to take Greene’s word that it is. As I stated above he has a tendency to make up evalution instruments that prove his point.

  4. Mike in Texas wrote:

    I believe public schools are being hindered by so called reforms (ex. NCLB) and could do a better job if the politicians would butt out.

    Well now that’s not entirely true, is it? If those politicians would only understand that their job is to get terminal writer’s cramp signing checks for the public education system they could butt in as much as they wanted.

    IF the public schools in Milwaukee are only graduating 41% of their students than that is reprehensible.

    Reprehensible? That word implies some degree of responsibility for the situation, doesn’t it? Sure you don’t want to think about that, Mike?

    By the way, Mike in Texas, how much money would be too much money? At what level would funding be wasteful from your point of view?

  5. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen,

    I believe we came up with an exact figure for this already. YOU were the one who did the Math in fact. To jog your memory, we used the state of Texas’ own admission it is only providing 55% of the necessary funds to achieve the goals it has put forth for schools. BTW, a judge in Texas has ruled the state is not paying its fair share of the cost of education

    What would make me responsible for failing high school students in Wisconsin? Also, you did notice the big IF I put in there didn’t you?

  6. Mike in Texas wrote:

    I believe we came up with an exact figure for this already. YOU were the one who did the Math in fact.

    Actually, I came up with an exact figure. You were too busy being evasive to do the arithmetic so I had to.

    Besides, that number was as bogus as any other. That’s the figure settled upon by Texas politicians of which, so you claim, only 55% is actually spent. Why is that figure enough? After all, that’s just a number picked out by Texas politicians. My question to you is, what is enough?

    What’s it going to take, from the point of view of someone who’d do right well by more funding, if you got a blank check? What figure would you fill in knowing that you’d made a clearcut commitment?

    Come on Mike. If you know what isn’t enough you must know what is enough. What’s the per student number that’ll guarantee 100% literacy?

  7. Mike in Texas says:

    What’s the per student number that’ll guarantee 100% literacy?

    You know as well as I do that no amount of money will guarantee 100% literacy. There will always be kids who have trouble reading, there will always be kids who have problems that prevent them from learning,

    Here’s an example for you: Last weekend a 4th grader at our school, whose parents were in a bitter divorce, witnessed the father killing the mother and then committing suicide. How much do you think this kids is going to learn this year??? But yet, there is no category by which this child can be exempted from the 3 state mandated tests he will have to take next spring. Should we fail him then? Luckily for him he isn’t in 3rd grade where he have to pass the reading exam or he’d have to stay in 3rd grade another year.

    Things like this go on all the time, while maybe not quite as extreme. We deal everyday with kids whose parents are drug dealers, who don’t have enough to eat, who are abused/neglected. The list goes on and on.

    Someone on here is always using the auto industry analogy. It is impossible in the auto industry to have 100% of the cars problem free so how can you, Allen, think the schools can do it too?

  8. Mike in Texas says:

    Allen wrote:

    That’s the figure settled upon by Texas politicians of which, so you claim, only 55% is actually spent.

    I never said only 55% is actually being spent. What I said was even the state of Texas admits it is only providing 55% of the funds necessary to achieve the goals it has demanded (by law) from the schools. The state of Texas felt this was enough but two weeks ago a judge ruled the state of Texas is violating its own constitution by not providing adequate funds to the school.

    What’s the matter, Allen? You couldn’t come up with a good arguement so you’re reduced to distorting my words ;)?

  9. Mike in Texas wrote:

    You know as well as I do that no amount of money will guarantee 100% literacy.

    Really? Well, how about 90% literacy. You up for that or is that also an impossible standard?

    Tell you what, I’ll let you pick a number. What literacy rate at what price?

    Don’t worry Mike, I’m only partly serious. I’m familiar with the artful rationalizations that are trotted out to insulate the public education system from any measures of accountability.

    I also understand the importance of not making a commitment. If you don’t want to held to anyone else’s standards you sure don’t want to be held to your own standards. So I wasn’t all that serious about getting a number. If you’ve done well to this point avoiding a commitment it would be pretty silly to abandon that strategy now, hey?

    That’s why charters and vouchers and tax credits and all the other substantive education reforms haven’t, and won’t, go away. The public is tired of unfulfilled promises and the inability to make a commitment.

    More later.

  10. “Here’s an example for you: Last weekend a 4th grader at our school, whose parents were in a bitter divorce, witnessed the father killing the mother and then committing suicide. How much do you think this kids is going to learn this year??? But yet, there is no category by which this child can be exempted from the 3 state mandated tests he will have to take next spring. Should we fail him then?”

    Didn’t you just say that this kid isn’t going to learn anything during his stay in third grade? What the Hell do you want to put him in fourth grade for after learning nothing that is taught in third grade? How well do you think he’ll do next year in fourth grade if you do that?

    Give him an honest chance to do the work just like everyone else. If he doesn’t catch on, no matter what the reason, then he should try again.

  11. Mike in Texas says:

    Ken,

    You really need to read people’s post a little more carefully. This child is already in the 4th grade.

    BTW, if it were up to me I would promote this child no matter what b/c that is what I believe as a professional educator would be best for him.

  12. Mike in Texas wrote:

    I never said only 55% is actually being spent. What I said was even the state of Texas admits it is only providing 55% of the funds necessary to achieve the goals it has demanded (by law) from the schools.

    I’m sure there’s a distinction somewhere in there. You’ll be sure to draw it out for us so that the difference between “spent” and “provided” is as clear to the rest of the world as it is to you, OK?

    But back to the issue which is already being avoided:

    Hey Mike, what’s the percentage of literates and what’s the price? How much is it going to cost the taxpayers of Texas or of the U.S. to get, well, you pick a percentage of literacy and put a price tag on it?