The narrative is that public schools suck. Why sugarcoat it with a nicer phrase? That's the narrative: public schools suck and the public wants out, the public demands accountability, the public demands a voucher in every backpack.
Here is the latest from the pro-voucher crowd, trying to explain and rationalize how the voucher program is not a subsidy to people who were already attending private schools: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=cm#inbox/14953acfb3a78ecf?projector=1
OK. They might have a small point there, but here are the larger enrollment numbers for the State of Wisconsin. Public vs private school total enrollment for the last three years:
- 11-12 871,105 vs 124,668
- 12-13 872,436 vs 122,949
- 13-14 874,414 vs 119,801
Maybe it's that the economy is bad and people can't afford private school. Nope, that can't be it, because I am reminded via a constant barrage of commercials that "it's working." The economic reforms, that is.
So it is easier than ever to attend a private school and the public schools, according to the narrative, are terrible places that expose kids to horrible things. And yet, public school enrollment is slightly up, and private school enrollment is slightly down. Maybe public confidence in the public schools is really pretty good, and maybe the reason it's pretty good is because they like what they see in their local schools.
Maybe it's time to stop listening to the professional polemicists. Methinks they have a purpose other than telling the truth.
*Might be an even longer trend, but I just looked at the last three years for two reasons- time and the recent legislative changes.