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[Susan notes: Good for the writer for making the public aware that there is no accountability in the voucher system.]

Published in Sun-Sentinel

To the editor

Re the Feb. 24 article, "Fla. Gov. Bush pushes for school vouchers": No Child Left Behind in Florida, they're just swept under the carpet.

If 170,000 Florida children can't read and are in need of taxpayer-funded vouchers, there is a big problem with Gov. Bush's education plan.

Moving children failed by the school system to private schools serves one goal. It keeps the schools' Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores deceptively high by removing "under-performers."

What other reason is possible when the private schools these kids are sent to are not accountable to the state or the taxpayers? What other reason when they are not required to take the FCAT? We are already paying high taxes for public education. Bush now asking us to pay for private school is beyond ridiculous, even if we forgot for a moment, "a trial judge and the 1st District Court of Appeal have ruled that it violates the state Constitution by allowing state dollars to be spent on religious schools."

A better plan is to use the FCAT as an assessment tool, the way it was designed, not as a high stakes, pass or fail regulator, deciding the future of children all over the state.

Some kids just don't do well on tests and to group them together and make them perform in a certain way sounds more like a circus act than an education plan.

Gov. Bush has just given us 170,000 reasons to repeal the FCAT. How many more do we need?

Carolyn D'Amico

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