Spin Machine Cranks Up Again

A blog called Yellowhammer News just cranked out an article saying that recipients of scholarships to private schools under the Alabama Accountability Act are pleased with the results.

Pardon me, but isn’t this about like asking kids on Christmas morning if they like their new toys or asking winners of the Georgia Lottery if they like the money they won?  Or maybe they should have asked all of us Auburn fans who filed out of Jordan-Hare Stadium after the 2013 Iron Bowl when Chis Davis ran a missed field goal back to win the game with one second left on the clock if we were happy.

According to the article, the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund (an SGO controlled out of Florida) and the Alabama Federation for Children (the group that took $350,000 last year from out-of-state millionaires to spend on Alabama legislative races) teamed up to survey parents of students who got scholarships.  Some 94.7 percent said they are pleased with their child’s scholarship school.

We know that more than 1,000 students who were already in private schools got scholarships.  So is it a surprise that this parents are pleased they are no longer paying tuition?

I have little doubt that some students have benefitted from this program.  But there are 733,000 students in our public schools.  Don’t they matter?  How is diverting money away from the Education Trust Fund to give private school scholarships and corporate tax breaks helping them?  When did we decide they don’t count?

In the beginning the accountability act was supposed to help “failing schools” across the state.  Why doesn’t the Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Fund and the Alabama Federation for Children survey parents of students in these schools, along with teachers and principals, to see how the accountability act is making their schools better?


6 Responses to Spin Machine Cranks Up Again

  1. When did students not matter–mostly when Republicans took control of everything–all children matter!

  2. Please keep preaching! This is absurd! Our children are getting ripped off by the “haves” of this state! Wrong, wrong, wrong. Really great things are and can happen in public schools! We have terrific educators at the helm of public education–listen to Dr. Bice!

  3. Absolutely, I would love to see a survey completed by the “Yellow Hammer” surveying parents, teachers and students in public schools; Q1 ” How’s it working for you now that the legislature has diverted funding to private schools”? A1, We aren’t happy about it!; Q2 Could you use the $40 million set-aside in the Alabama Accountability Act to help supplement the materials and supplies being paid from your own personal funds? A2 Yes, we could, we are tired of selling candy, popcorn, and lollypops to make ends meet; and Q3. Do you think it is fair to use taxpayers’ money to pay for students to transfer to a private school without a guarantee of success and shortchange the students enrolled in the public school systems in Alabama? A3: Absolutely not! It is a “shotgun” approach…no research involved and no assurance that students will improve academically by transferring to a private or another public school. There must be continuity and a continuum that follows specific standards from Kindergarten to 12th grade. It is proven that transient students do no perform as well as students in a stable environment. Charters and private schools do not outperform public schools with high expectations and state accountability. Adequate funding for public schools is absolutely necessary in low performing schools, not transfers.

  4. Just like the old time children’s toy, when the top quits spinning it falls over. They have to keep the spin going.