Show Me The Vouchers? (And The Harmonic Convergences And Dirty Secrets…)

A conference this week at Harvard (agenda here in pdf) should be getting a great deal of attention. Ostensibly a look at education adequacy lawsuits (with some really interesting papers about that issue and the intersections with No Child), it also portends a potentially pivotal moment for this litigation and the coalition that supports it….namely, what if greater school choice, in particular vouchers, becomes a remedy in these suits along with more funding? The man who brought you Zelman is thinking exactly that way…worth watching…

Afterthought — Interesting moment: Rocco Testani channels Richard Rothstein. Introducing one panel, veteran school finance litigator Testani, who defends states when they’re sued to spend more money on schools, parroted the argument put forward by Richard Rothstein about the inability of schools to meet these performance targets because of all the out of school influences on kids…essentially attacking the standards as a reasonable basis for boosting school funding…someone please remind Eduwonk again why this is such a great argument for public school supporters to be making?

Bonus afterthought — Another moment that caught a lot of ears at an on-the-record conference was school finance guru Jim Guthrie calling the recent New York finance case a “deep professional embarrassment” and saying (a) that these cases are out of control with plaintiffs starting with a figure they want to land on and working backwards rather than determining actual spending needs and (b) bustin’ the teachers’ unions for heavy handed power plays during the process…

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