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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another victory for the free educational marketplace!

by folkbum

It seems that once again, involved and discerning parents demanded the highest academic standards from a school in the Milwaukee Parental Choice (voucher) Program--and when they didn't get that quality, they shut the school down:
A high school that joined the city's voucher program this year has been removed from the program by state officials because of building code violations that render it unsafe for students.
Wait! I must be reading that wrong. Voucher proponents assure us that parents will vote with their shoe leather and close down these sorts of bogus operations. Clearly it's not the state at work here, but the market forces. Let's try that again:
R&B Academy, 5150 N. 32nd St., is the third publicly funded private school to be launched by Ricardo Brooks and subsequently shut down by the state Department of Public Instruction because of problems.
No, no, no, no! That's not right! It's the demands of the market that shut down this bad apple, not the state. It must be. Just like restaurants that lose customers when the food poison people or recent TV shows by Stephen J Cannell. Once more:
At issue is whether this mid-semester closure will force the DPI to reconsider what's known as the "bad actor" rule. The state agency had kept a list of people banned from being involved in a voucher school for seven years, and Brooks was placed on that list after two voucher schools he started, Academic Solutions and Northside High School, were forced out of the program because of questions about their academic viability and safety. [. . .] The absence of such a rule infuriates Anthony Shunkwiler, who taught at Brooks' Northwest High School for four months before it was closed by the state in 2006. Shunkwiler, who now lives in Texas, said Thursday that he was never paid for the time he worked there.

He described Northwest as a chaotic place where students rolled marijuana cigarettes in class and brought firearms to school without fear of punishment. Classrooms lacked textbooks and Brooks was primarily concerned about maintaining a flow of cash from the state, Shunkwiler said.
Well, shut my mouth. I guess this really was the state, and not the market. I don't understand how that could be; the great promise of "choice" was that parents would lead, not the state. Oh, well. There's a lot I don't understand anymore, I guess.

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