Receiving Public Aid Without Public Disclosure

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Receiving Public Aid Without Public Disclosure

Imagine a public school administrator telling a newspaper reporter that even though her school receives tax dollars, the school will continue to refuse requests to publicly disclose its students' scores on standardized tests. Imagine this administrator explaining her school's refusal by saying:
"People become hypersensitive about the scores, and you forget about the kids."
Needless to say, the conservative media would have a field day.

Well, with one small exception, this scenario is real. This year, a private-school voucher provision passed by the GOP-controlled Congress is allowing Catholic schools in Washington, D.C., to receive $3.5 million in taxpayer funds.

Yet none of these Catholic schools must disclose their student test scores or comply with numerous other provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. The words quoted above -- about how parents or students "become hypersensitive" about test scores -- were spoken by none other than the Catholic archdiocese's school superintendent, Patricia Weitzel-O'Neill.

Private schools want to dip into the same pot of money, but refuse to play by the same rules. And this is what conservatives trumpet as more "accountability"? Please.

The Washington Post article in which Weitzel-O'Neill is quoted can be found here.

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