Not so fast, say the voucher zealots. "This is the first chapter of a very long book," says the editorial board of the Journal Sentinel, which has sunk a lot of ink and credibility into the supposedly-wonderful program. Something tells me that, if the report showed even a slight benefit to children in the program, this study would have not been considered preliminary or incomplete – the same people would be jumping up and down about how wonderful and prescient they were/are and demanding an end to the discussion and an expansion of the program. Instead, they are forced to make excuses about over twelve years of lies and promises in pursuance of right-wing pie-in-the-sky.
You’d think, twelve years down the line, we’d be hearing about at least one voucher "school" success story. I would have expected by now we’d have seen Howard Fuller accompanying some 12-year voucher kid to his/her high school graduation, with a puff piece about what college the kid is going to and promises of a glowing future. I don’t think that kid exists.
The fact is that the voucher program has only benefitted three groups:
- the Catholic and other religious schools that are participating in propping up their dying faith programs;
- right-wing schemers who couldn’t care less about the education of inner-city children and are using the voucher program as a wedge to destroy public education; and
- reprehensible scam-artists who establish a temporary warehouse, take the too-easy state money, and run.