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Voucher guru peeved by story

A letter from venture capitalist turned schools reformer John Kirtley:

Marc Caputo's article on 12/17 stated that school choice programs in Florida have no "scrutiny" because students using the programs don't have to take the FCAT. What he failed to mention is that students in the tax credit scholarship program for low income children must take a nationally recognized standardized test approved by the state, such as the Stanford 10. The tests must be comparable to the FCAT and the scores reported every year to a research group chosen by the state, so that the progress of the students can be measured--including against similar public school students. Of course the schools educating these children face the additional "scrutiny" of empowered parents, who can take the scholarships to a different school if they are unsatisfied--a scrutiny underperforming public schools do not face.

When Caputo stated that "every lower court" found the Opportunity Scholarship Program unconstitutional, he did not mention that the Appeals Court unanimously rejected the grounds used by the Florida Supreme Court to kill the program---that it violated the mandate for a "uniform system of public schools". Your readers should know that the Wall Street Journal called this verdict "the worst by any state court in decades" due to its tortured legal argument and its damage to school reform.

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