Liberals and conservatives see starkly different worlds through it
The statewide expansion of the school choice program has left its advocates debating whether the apparent compromise of increased voucher amounts, statewide availability and enrollment caps is a glass that is half full or half empty. Opponents think they see a camel about to take over the tent. Which camp you fall into may say a lot about how you view not only the quotidian merits of choice but also the world itself.
Stay with me.
Opponents and advocates can and will volley forever over the merits of choice. The left and, excuse my redundancy, the educational establishment argue that the “evidence is in” — a trite catch phrase that almost always means it is not. They point to raw test data showing no difference in test scores between students at choice schools (lumped together) and students in the Milwaukee Public Schools system. They point out that most choice schools — just like their MPS counterparts — do not have student bodies averaging above proficiency on standardized tests.
They are ready to pronounce our 20-year experiment with choice a “failure.”