Thursday, June 20, 2013

Data on choice schools will be available



I appreciate the difficulty that non-lawyers have in interpreting legal language and the challenges that anyone has in reporting on Wisconsin's chaotic budget process - a chaos that seems to reign no matter who is in power.
It is being reported that the current budget will have a provision that, as the headline puts it, "would limit the release of data on individual voucher schools.' That it highly misleading. The proposal would not limit the release of data on individual schools, but would only affect the timing of its release. It requires that it all data be released at the same time.
The Journal Sentinel's report on the proposal does not link to it or quote it.  Here is the proposed language:
118.60 (11) (d) 1. Except as provided in subd. 2., when the department publicly
releases data related to, but not limited to, enrollment of, standardized test results
for, applications submitted by, waiting lists for, and other information related to
pupils participating in or seeking to participate in the program under this section,
release the data all at the same time, uniformly, and completely.

2. The department may selectively release portions of the information specified
in subd. 1. only to the following:

a. A school district or individual school.

b. An entity requesting the information for a specific participating private
school or the school district within which a pupil participating in the program under
this section resides, provided that the entity is authorized to obtain official data
releases for that school or school district.

Again, the "limitation" is only on the selective release of data. The idea is that all of the data relating to all of the individual schools should be released at the same time. But the date related to each individual choice school will be made publicly available.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers complains that this would not be true of publice schools. Perhaps not, but choice schools aren't public schools. They are private schools at which parents can choose to use vouchers. This does not make them public anymore than the corner grocery becomes a public agency because it accepts EBT cards.

The important thing to keep in mind is that test results and other data related to choice schools will be released. The only "limitation"is that DPI must release it at the same time.

Cross posted at Purple Wisconsin





3 comments:

John Mitchell said...

"Again, the "limitation" is only on the selective release of data. The idea is that all of the data relating to all of the individual schools should be released at the same time. But the date related to each individual choice school will be made publicly available."

Typical lawyer speak. The information will be there, but at a different time. Of course, the professor leaves out an important nugget--private schools using vouchers have to sign off whether that information will be there for DPI or parental viewing.

So much for transparency.

Earl Ingram said...

Why should there be secrecy at all aren't these tax payer dollars. Why not challenge many of the voucher schools that are opened in the central city that are failures yet remain open. Is this really about making a better education available to the poor or allowing corporations to make a buck of education.

krshorewood said...

Really Rick, if private schools are so wonderful then they should be completely transparent. This only gives us seeds of doubts to plant in the minds of voters, most of whom do not support vouchers in the first place.

Your comparison between the corner grocery store is so lame on so many levels. Let's take one. A food pruchase is based on one criteria -- customer satisfaction. When it comes to schools, there are numerous measures because our futures depend on quality education.

But therein is the torpedo that sinks your issue. You love private schools because they are private. And because they are, it's nobody's business what a private operation does.

This reasoning is why we need to hit the brakes and throw the process in reverse when it comes to privatization. Booz Allen Hamilton recently proved that.