During a talk to the community of St. Anthony’s School on Milwaukee’s south side, Governor Walker said he was interested in expanding Wisconsin’s school voucher program beyond the Milwaukee and Racine areas. The governor of course was preaching to the choir since St. Anthony’s is the largest voucher school participant in the Milwaukee area with more than 1,000 students using vouchers.
Whether you support voucher schools or oppose them as I do, you have to admit that the success of voucher school programs is highly in doubt. Reports on student achievement often shows few voucher schools exceed the public schools that they meant to compete with. And they are not held accountable to the same standards that public schools are.
My suggestion is a moratorium on future voucher schools until they are held as fully accountable for student achievement and teacher competency at the same levels as our public schools. And more importantly, stop expanding the program until we know that they are at least as successful at educating our young people as the existing school systems. Stop shortchanging public education if you don’t actually have a better product!