Voucher Program Puts D.C. Kids at Risk, Study SaysSo what is this great risk that students in the DC schools are under? Well, some of the buildings for the new charter schools haven't been certified.
In a random sample of 18 schools reviewed by the GAO, two lacked occupancy permits, and four lacked permits needed for buildings used for educational purposes. At least seven of the 18 schools were certified as child development centers but not as private schools. In one case, a school was operating in a space designed for a retail store, the report says.Oh, heavens! A school operating in a space designed for a retail store! No child could possibly learn in such an environment! This from the same sort of education establishment who went through the idiocies of the open-space classrooms in the early 1970s. Remember that great idea - that kids would learn so much better if there were no walls between classrooms. Then, after building a bunch of these schools, they noticed that children tend to get distracted when they can watch what other groups of kids are doing throughout the school. Now we're supposed to be all worried because a school is meeting in a converted retail space. I teach school in a converted textile mill from the early 1900s and, while sometimes the space is not ideal, what matters is what is going on in the classrooms, not the physical space.
The schools were largely allowed to self-report that they were in compliance with city regulations, the report says, increasing the possibility that students were being ill-served without proper oversight.
Notice that this GAO report doesn't seem to have any information about any child actually being harmed because of the school facilities not being certified. There's no report of any actual danger. Just that the paperwork has not been completed satisfactorily. So, the Washington Post slaps this scary headline on the story just to ramp up a little controversy for a program that many Democrats opposed in the first place. Meanwhile, parents seem to be happy.
aA report in May from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute showed that of 100 parents and students surveyed, most were satisfied with the program, and about 90 percent said they would remain at least another year.And how many parents and students in the regular D.C. public school system would report their satisfaction if asked?