Indicating that the Missouri House's defeat of thinly-veiled voucher legislation Wednesday will lead to more inner-city students failing, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a strong supporter of the bill said, "We'll go forward and build more prisons in the state of Missouri."
Kinder could be right, but it is not because of this pitiful piece of legislation biting the dust. Instead of pushing the agenda of All Children Matter, K12, and those who run private schools, the future of our young people might better be served if lofty-sounding ideas like No Child Left Behind and this so-called Tuition Tax Credit bill are replaced by legislation that might address the root problems in these inner-city areas- poverty and drug and alcohol abuse.
The idea that putting these children into private schools will result in miraculous change and increase in standardized test scores is ridiculous. If you take one or two children out of an inner-city situation and put them into private schools, you might see an increase in test scores and an improvement in behavior; if you transplant all of the students, with all of their problems, into private schools, soon you will have private schools with all of the same problems that face public schools (though I still have a hard time believing that the private schools will truly have to enroll any great number of problem students under any form of voucher legislation).
Until the root problems are dealt with, it is going to be difficult for any plan limited strictly to schools, public or private, to succeed.