The Department of Education just released a new study of the Washington, D.C., school voucher program. And the findings confirm what we’ve known for years: The program doesn’t improve students’ academic achievement. In fact, it has resulted in statistically significant negative impacts on student test scores.
The New York Times recently ran a story about researchers being surprised by the “dismal” results school voucher programs have so far produced.
As The Times notes, “[A] wave of new research has emerged suggesting that private school vouchers may harm students who receive them. The results are startling – the worst in the history of the field, researchers say.”
Maryland recently became the latest state to adopt a school voucher program that will benefit mostly religious schools. The state will spend $5 million on the program, which is aimed at low-income students in Baltimore.
The Washington Post is ecstatic. The newspaper, which constantly promotes vouchers on its editorial page, recently published an editorial that reads like a string of talking points from the Cato Institute.
As I sift through the news in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, there’s one word I keep seeing over and over again: Brilliant.
We’re told that even if you disagreed with Scalia’s extremely conservative views, you must stand in awe of his brilliance, his genius, his searing wit.
Fair enough. I have observed Scalia in action many times at the Supreme Court over the past 28 years. I don’t doubt that he was a pretty smart guy.
An independent research group that has employed dozens of Nobel Prize winners recently uncovered some devastating data about Louisiana’s voucher program: Students who participate in the scheme actually do worse academically than if they had stayed in public schools.
The government, at least in theory, is supposed to be neutral on matters of theology, neither favoring religion nor irreligion.
In a 1989 case called Texas Monthly v. Bullock, Justice William Brennan wrote, “In proscribing all laws ‘respecting an establishment of religion,’ the Constitution prohibits, at the very least, legislation that constitutes an endorsement of one or another set of religious beliefs or of religion generally.”
A new study says that a single county policy spawned at least 65 bills to promote creationism in American public schools. Nicholas J. Matzke, a phylogeneticist based at the Australian National University, traced the bills back to a 2006 Ouachita Parish, La., curriculum policy that encouraged teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.”
I’ve been monitoring the Religious Right’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and I’m not impressed.