Voucher ouch

To the Editor:

I was very sad to see the number of people in Sheboygan County who voted for Don Pridemore in the Superintendent of Public Schools race. When I listened to a Democrat and a Republican speak about the race, the Republican did not have one positive thing to say about Don Pridemore. So why did so many people in our county vote for him? He has not worked a single day in a school. His support of the expansion of school vouchers should be problematic for more of us. Private schools have no elected school board, so they are not accountable to taxpayers. Do not forget that people who have no children pay taxes that go to public schools. They do not need to follow standards on educating special needs students. Proponents of vouchers cite graduation statistics which are not relevant if you understand what is going on with low achieving students. Ask any teacher about students who have the potential to do better, but aren’t. You are going to hear about parents who do not listen to their child read, and will not help their child with homework. I’m guessing that voucher school parents in Milwaukee are not in this group, so that immediately skews the statistics. I’m most concerned that we will have spent over 1.8 billion dollars of public money on vouchers, with no improvement in test scores. Only 42% of Milwaukee voucher students meet or exceed expectations in reading (dpi.gov. MCPC school results for 2011). Only 48% are proficient or above in math. Thankfully Don Pridemore did not win. But the school voucher program is on the table. Please give Joe Liebham a call or e-mail on this issue.

Deb Klock

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