RALEIGH – Launched in 2014 to provide state-funded vouchers worth up to $4,200 to eligible students entering Kindergarten through twelfth grade, Opportunity Scholarships have been lambasted ever since by the Left. Why would a political wing that prides itself as being dedicated to improving education be so against these scholarships? Well, because the scholarships are used to go to private schools, of course, and private schools are the enemy of Leftists that want the State to control everything.
The program takes money away from the public school system, they complain.
Now, after nearly $53 million in scholarships have been funded a new study concludes that recipients are benefiting academically, and significantly so.
From Carolina Journal:
“In spring 2017, researchers, using the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in math and reading, analyzed the academic performance of 698 students in public and private schools.
The researchers found, in general, new voucher recipients scored significantly higher than their public school counterparts in math, reading, and language arts. Existing voucher recipients scored significantly higher than their public school counterparts in language arts and higher in math and reading.
“It may be the case that the North Carolina Opportunity Scholarship Program truly has a positive impact on student achievement, perhaps because it reaches highly economically disadvantaged students who have few school choice options in the absence of the program and perhaps the highest potential for academic growth, as a result,” the study reads.”
It is not surprising that providing more choice in education has a positive effect on academic outcomes. And you would think that the Left, so concerned with education, would cheer the fact that these poor kids are now able to get a better education and perhaps break any extant cycles of poverty because of it.
You would think.
Instead, the Left and their friends in the media are reanimating their efforts to discredit private schools by whining about failures to meet state sanctioned curricula.
77 percent of private schools receiving vouchers are using curricula that do not comply with state standards. It’s time that all schools are held to the same standards.#ncpol #nced #vouchershttps://t.co/g9wRJXUwkJ
— Progress NC Action (@ProgressNow_NC) June 4, 2018
Held to the same standards? What about holding schools to the same standards for academic results in core subjects?
The Left would never sign on to that because academic proficiency is not what they’re really about – opposing school vouchers that are now proven to help poor kids do better in school demonstrate that quite clearly.
“Terry Stoops, vice president of research and director of education studies at the John Locke Foundation, said the results aren’t surprising.
“The N.C. State study confirms what Opportunity Scholarship supporters have always suspected — low-income students receive meaningful academic benefits in the private schools they choose to attend,” Stoops said. “Not only are families happier in their private school of choice, children learn more. Both are compelling reasons for the state to continue its investment in the Opportunity Scholarship Program.””
Despite this painfully obvious benefits of school choice, Democrat lawmakers and activists will continue to smear any voucher programs, private schools, or charter schools as being somehow ‘anti-education’ moves by a power hungry Republican majority.
Such is the distorted Big Government view of the Left.
Read more here.