Numbers are a key part of understanding and navigating our world. We compute and weigh all kinds of issues each and every day. How much it cost, how many pounds, how long will it take, do I need more or less. Numbers matter unless you are the Secretary of Education. Betsy Devos says that “she is not a numbers person.”
In her case that can be translated to she doesn’t care about measuring the performance of students. Both she and Trump are touting Florida’s voucher program as something they want to spread nationwide. But the “private schools” they are touting have no reporting accountability and the requirements for their accreditation are minimal, with teacher’s only needing a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience as a teacher. Most public schools require a teacher to have a master’s in education or to be specifically certified as a teacher beyond a bachelor’s degree.
According to The Washington Post:
But Florida exempts private schools from that accountability regime, even if they participate in the scholarship program. Schools must give scholarship students standardized tests, but the outcomes are largely irrelevant. No matter how poorly a private school performs, it can continue receiving scholarship dollars. The state commissions an annual report on the performance of scholarship students as a group, but their performance can’t be compared with that of poor children in public schools, who take a battery of different tests.
So whether these “private” schools are better for kids isn’t verifiable, at least in Florida and Devos doesn’t seem to care.