Last week President Obama toured the northeast touting his plans for education in the United States. While in New York he failed to mention how many kids failed the state tests after implementation of his Common Core curriculum. And he certainly didn’t mention how his Justice Department is suing the state of Louisiana for helping minority children escape miserably failing schools.
I wish I was making this up, but sadly I’m not. According to The Wall Street Journal, Louisiana has a voucher system that allows children with family incomes under 250% of the poverty level who live in under-performing school districts to attend private schools. The majority of families that use the program are minorities, so you would think that would be a good thing. But according to the Justice Department, it’s not right to take the students out of the failing schools because it changes the racial makeup of the schools they leave behind. (I told you I wished I was making this up!)
But Justice is more worried about the complexion of the schools’ student body than their manifest failure to educate. During the 2012-13 school year, about 10% of voucher recipients came from 22 districts that remain under desegregation orders from 50 or so years ago.
For example, says the complaint, in several of those 22 districts “the voucher recipients were in the racial minority at the public school they attended before receiving the voucher.” In other words, Justice is claiming that the voucher program may be illegal because minority kids made their failing public schools more white by leaving those schools to go to better private schools.
In one of only two specific examples in its footnotes, Justice says that Celilia Primary School (30.1% black) in St. Martin Parish District (46.5% black) lost all of six black voucher recipients. Justice claims the reduction in black students at Celilia increases “the difference between the school’s black student percentage from the district’s and reinforcing the school’s racial identity as a white school in a predominantly black school district.” Since when is 46.5% predominantly black?
All of this is even more dubious because the evidence from around the country is that vouchers enhance racial integration. Public school attendance is mainly determined by geography, so segregated neighborhoods produce segregated schools. Vouchers help poor minorities escape those boundaries to attend schools they otherwise couldn’t. Seven of eight studies that have examined vouchers in Milwaukee, Cleveland and Washington, D.C., found that private schools that recipients attend are more diverse than public schools. (Read More)
Read the whole thing. What it all boils down to is keeping the public school teachers unions happy. This racial segregation or desegregation nonsense is just the only legal pretext they could come up with in their attempt to shut the voucher system down. As usual it has nothing to do with the children or diversity. This just goes to show how nobody in the Obama administration gives a whit about the children of the United States. Oh, but the Obamas don’t subject their children to public schools. Failing public schools are for the little people.