We have watched as school "choice" has destroyed urban school districts, closed neighborhood schools, and treated children as robots and data creators. ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council is referred to as a bill mill. ALEC creates model "Cliff Notes" bills for politicians and has now targeted us. I wrote about ALEC here. Seems like our politicians are taking short cuts written by lobbyists with some really questionable agendas.
ALEC has many goals, including ending public education as we know it. In this article their agenda is crystal clear. ALEC "...has decided to drop the pretense that vouchers have anything to do with social and racial equity, and is now pushing vouchers for the middle class—a project which, if pursued enough in numbers, will progressively erode the public school system and increase the segregation of students based on race and economic standing."
"School vouchers were never about helping poor, at-risk or minority students. But selling them as social mobility tickets was a useful fiction that for some twenty-five years helped rightwing ideologues and corporate backers gain bipartisan support for an ideological scheme designed to privatize public schools."
"In state after state, politicians were in on the trick. They would sign limited voucher programs into law as “civil rights” measures only to gradually expand the programs to higher-income white families."
ALEC knew that involving well-intended progressives would be easier of they claimed they were offering "choice" to help undeserved groups. "ALEC makes this abundantly clear when it recommends in its talking points that legislators not adjust the amount granted based on family income. The upshot of this is that vouchers will be a welcome bonus for well-off families whereas poor families may not be able to afford private school tuition even with the extra money. This, in turn, will lead to increased segregation "based on race, socio-economic status, disability, (and) English language (proficiency)..."
They infiltrated our cities in the name of social and racial equality, but ended up segregating the schools, leaving most public school students in underfunded public schools, and making charter school investors rich. And now they are going to find an angle to try make suburban parents want "choice." Ah, marketing.
What will ALEC's suburban marketing plan be? Only time will tell. Keep your eyes open for vouchers and claims that sound too good to be true.
Caveat emptor: A Latin term that means "let the buyer beware." Similar to the phrase "sold as is," this term means that the buyer assumes the risk that a product may fail to meet expectations or have defects.