Saturday, April 09, 2005

Vouchers: Looking into the non-satire crystal ball

These are my predictions for the future regarding the results of the educational voucher movement in America. They are not in any particular order.

  1. Vouchers will be approved within 5 years throughout most states in America.
  2. Within 15 years, most voucher supporters will be disappointed in what vouchers have brought to the private schools. This will primarily be because big government, which most true conservatives don't trust, will now have strings attached to the money. Big government never gives money away without asking for something in return. Public schools have dealt with this for years. Faith-based charities will be going through the same angst as they begin to regret ever accepting government money.
  3. Within 15 years, "balkanization" of America will begin occurring and lawsuits charging discrimination and segregation will once again be working their way through the legal system. Most of these lawsuits will occur in the suburbs of urban markets where a larger number of private schools exist.
  4. Salaries for private school educators will have risen due to the market/demand for more teachers. This growing demand for private school teachers will further erode the private school mission. This is because it will be difficult to find large numbers of teachers that are willing to work for lower salaries just because they view it as "mission work." This in turn, will slowly change the culture of their organizations and "union" issues will begin to surface in their organizations.
  5. Salaries for public school educators will grow stagnant as public school districts struggle to keep pace with rising health insurance, rising property and casualty insurance, rising utility costs and lack of funding support due to charter schools, tax vouchers and tax credits.
  6. Teacher shortages will develop as college students begin to choose professions that haven't been denigrated so badly.
  7. More and more alternative licensing for teachers will then become the vogue. This too will result in cultural changes in the profession as more and more teachers will come from more varied backgrounds.
  8. In areas of the country where there are many school choices, better students will move to private schools, leaving the public schools with higher percentages of students in poverty and students with special needs.
  9. Due to the odd mix of private, charter and public schools, most high stakes standardized testing will only be required on a sampling basis using NAEP type testing. This will be partly due to the costs for nationwide testing and partly due to objections from the private schools who will see it as an intrusion.
  10. NCLB will become hated by all schools, private, public and charter, and will eventually be gutted as the standardized testing craze begins to subside.
  11. NCLB will eventually be replaced with a national accreditation process that will include random assessment sampling of schools to track national progress.
  12. In areas of the country where there aren't as many private school choices, most school communities will remain much as they are, but with a heightened sense of desire to keep improving.

In 15 years, correlational research will show that education and income levels of parents are still strong predictors of student performance. And, while there are some stellar examples of increased public and private school performance, overall much remains the same. Simpson's paradox is still in play. All subgroups across America are improving, but because the population in the subgroups continues to grow, academic performance still appears flat. In other words, the achievement gap between subgroups continues to close, but the flat overall average continues to hide it from the public view. However, Gallup polls on education show a continuing trend upward in the parental satisfaction with schools. These trends follow most market research which seems to indicate higher customer satisfaction in a service or product when it was freely chosen.

In 15 years the overall consensus will be that educational vouchers didn't revolutionize education in America, but they didn't destroy it either.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

National Voucher Institute announces new accounting firm

(We've had so many new readers lately - I feel the need to restate the obvious - this is satire :-)

Kofi Annan has announced that he is putting the finishing touches on top appointments in the newly formed National Voucher Institute. The Voucher Institute is a new promotional group formed in anticipation of newly opened education markets. Voucher proponents from the business world see the education market as one of the untapped markets yet to experience the euphoric highs and lows of life in the business world.

As one proponent said, "Thar's gold in them thar shills!"

In previous weeks the following appointments have been announced:

Kofi Annan will head up the voucher initiative with a program titled, "Snake-oil for Vouchers" modeled after the highly successful "oil-for food" program. Annan predicts that voucher programs will help poor Americans the way it did poverty-stricken individuals in the middle east.

Martha Stewart will head up the Home School Curriculum Division. She began her promotion by offering free electronic ankle bracelets to the first 10,000 home school customers.

Ward Churchill was chosen to head the Research Design team. Based on his stellar academic research record, the voucher and charter school supporters hope he can bring the same creativity and talent to the table in helping to combat the emerging research on charter school performance.

Rounding out the top appointments to the Voucher Initiative, Kofi Annan announced his selection of Arthur Anderson as the accounting firm. The Arthur Anderson accounting firm was chosen because of their specialty in document shredding and creative accounting during the Enron scandal.

Stated Annan, "We all know that public school accounting by the State Board of Accounts is unusually thorough and and particularly time-consuming. Not very efficient. With Anderson's experience in document shredding and creative accounting, we hope to capitalize by not only becoming more efficient, but raiding the retirement accounts and stealing the pension funds of employees whenever possible. Then we will declare bankruptcy like Conseco Corporation and all the top officers will take the money and run. Whoops I probably said too much. This is off the record right?"

Annan quickly recovered, and indicated there was at least one more appointment that would be made in the next few days. He added, "The National Voucher Initiative will be ready to begin a state-by-state campaign within the month."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Carnival of Education: Week 9

Stop by the Carnival of Education for a ride. One-stop-shop for blogging on education.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

National Voucher Initiative Hires New Research Director

Kofi Annan, soon to be the new director of the U.S. National Voucher Initiative, has been busy this week naming the new staff for this newly established organization. Annan recently announced his plans to step down from the United Nations to head up the American effort to bring educational vouchers and tax credits to every state.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005, Annan announced that Ward Churchill will be appointed to the Initiative's top research post.

"We think that Ward Churchill is uniquely qualified to lead this prestigious organization's research efforts. His rigorous background in academic research will make him a very nice fit with our organization. He is well known for his rigorous standards and attention to detail in academic research. We believe that Ward Churchill is uniquely qualified to lead our charter school supporters in combating the emerging research on charter school performance with research of our own," stated Annan.

Ward Churchill indicated he is anxious to develop a research agenda on the behalf of children. "I am looking forward to working with the " little Tykemanns," he deadpanned.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Kofi Annan prepares to name staff in National School Voucher Initiative

The Super's Blog recently announced widespread reports (see previous posts) that Kofi Annan was stepping down as head of the United Nations in order to accept the top post for the U.S. National School Voucher Initiative.

On Monday this week, The Super's Blog has learned that Kofi Annan intends to begin releasing the names of his top staff as the positions are filled throughout the coming weeks. Individuals close to the National School Voucher/Tax Credit Initiative believe that the first staff position to fill will be the Home School Division head.

Early reports indicate that Martha Stewart has tentatively accepted the offer to head up the Home School Division. Martha Stewart was reached very easily at home and offered this statement, "I am very excited to be offered a position as the head of the Home School Division of the National School Voucher Initiative. Home is where the heart is and my heart is in making lots of money. I will be happy to lead a national initiative to relieve home school parents of their tax credits and/or voucher."

She added, "Plus, the first 10,ooo home school parents signing up for the Martha Stewart Home School Curriculum will receive a free electronic ankle bracelet to help keep that homeschool youngun' close to home during the day. They work great. In 4 months (and counting..) I will even have an extra one to give away."