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Table of Contents

    Issue Theme
  • The Big One

    Teaching about climate change

    By Bill Bigelow

    The environmental crisis requires a profound social and curricular rethinking.

  • Cover Story
  • Free A Pedagogy for Ecology

    By Ann Pelo

    Helping students build an ecological identity and a conscious connection to place opens them to a broader bond with the earth.

  • The Wonder of Nature

    By Bob Peterson

    A review of The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, The Sense of Wonder, and A Sand County Almanac.

  • Rethinking Lunchtime

    Making lunch an integral part of education

    By Michael Stone

    Lunch is too important to be thought of as the ritual pit stop between classroom and playground.

  • Educating Heather

    First-person narratives bring climate change closer to home

    By Lauren G. McClanahan

    First-person narratives about climate change bridge the gap for students between theory and reality.

  • Teachable Moments Not Just for Kids

    By Susan Naimark

    When parents avoid connecting, they model for children how not to talk about race and racism.

  • Beat It! Defeat It! Racist Cookies

    Promoting activism in teacher education

    By Bree Picower

    How racist cookies spurred a teacher and her education students to take action.

  • "Bait and Switch"

    New report pushes voucher fans to fast-talk around problems

    By Barbara Miner

    Voucher advocates are fast-talking their way around a new report that cast doubts on the value of the program.

  • America's Army Invades Our Classrooms

    The military’s stealth recruitment of children

    The Army's new high-tech strategy for winning recruits.

  • Teaching for Joy and Justice

    By Linda Christensen

    An excerpt from Christensen's new book, Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom.

  • Boycott!

    Los Angeles Teachers Say NO to More Testing

    By Sarah Knopp

    Los Angeles teachers take on LAUSD's mandated tests.

  • Connected to the Community

    An effective model for preparing and retaining teachers

    By Marianne Smith, Jan Osborn

    A look inside I-Teach, an effective model for preparing and retaining teachers.

  • Izzit Capitalist Propaganda?

    By Julie Knutson

    DVDs from Izzit.org follow a familiar free-market script.

  • "It Was So Much Fun! I Died of Massive Blood Loss!"

    The problem with Civil War reenactments for children

    By Karen Park Koenig

    A mock battle highlights the line between role-playing and re-enactment.

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Preview of Article:

"Bait and Switch"

New report pushes voucher fans to fast-talk around problems
"Bait and Switch"

Ever since vouchers began in Milwaukee in 1990, voucher advocates belittled the Milwaukee Public Schools, promised that vouchers were the key to improved educational opportunity, and derailed other serious reform efforts. In the process, vouchers used almost $750 million in taxpayer money, with minimal accountability in how those dollars were spent. This year, the voucher program includes roughly 125 private schools and approximately 20,000 students, each receiving $6,607 in tax dollars. While there are considered to be a number of higher-performing voucher schools, just as there are in the public schools, little is known about what happens at a number of voucher schools?even on such basics as students' racial breakdown. The lack of accountability has become such a public policy embarrassment that even some voucher supporters are talking about accountability.

The problem, however, is that voucher supporters may be offering a "bait and switch."

The bait? Nominally accepting accountability. The switch? Sidestepping true accountability and transparency.

If the bait and switch succeeds, it will likely have repercussions beyond Milwaukee, bolstering the Fordham Foundation's position that a "sliding scale" of accountability is the way forward for the voucher movement.

Three issues are at the heart of accountability in Milwaukee:

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