Ainda a propósito da crónica de ontem de Maria José Nogueira Pinto no DN, que se insere na estratégia cada vez mais clara de privatização da escola pública, é curioso notar que já não são os EEUU o referencial para justificar o cheque-ensino. Agora o exemplo vem-nos de Espanha e da pressão dos colégios religiosos defendidos pelo PP.

Talvez por isso mesmo seja interessante ler o que nos vai trazendo a pesquisa sobre os vouchers na pátria do liberalismo – os EEUU:

«Public school advocates imagine a different future if universal vouchers were available.

Given vouchers, people would segregate themselves along a variety of lines–race, religion, and ideology among them. As a result, American youth would miss out on the tolerance-building experience of being in integrated public schools. That would make them less able to work as adults in a diverse society. “It would balkanize the United States of America,” said Antonia Cortese, executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. “What we will have is schools for certain religions, schools for certain philosophies, schools for certain ethnic groups. We may even have schools that teach hate. We could have schools run by the Ku Klux Klan. We could have schools run by Al Qaeda, for that matter, if they’re private.”

Public school advocates argue that private schools would also lack the accountability under which public schools must operate. Public schools answer to elected school boards or to officials appointed by elected mayors. Ultimately, that means the public can hold the schools accountable. Private schools, in contrast, are run by boards of trustees. Their autonomy would make it easier for administrators to misuse funds or discriminate against employees and hire uncertified teachers, public school proponents say, pointing out also that private schools don’t want to be told what to teach. Private schools have tended to resist government-mandated tests, since tests drive curricula, and if they don’t use standardized tests, their results can’t be compared with those of public schools.

Constitutionality is also a concern. Public school advocates argue that the Constitution’s separation of church and state means that the government should not support religious institutions, including religious schools. These advocates dismiss as a semantic trick the argument that religious schools can use public money for the public purpose of education without using any of that money to evangelize.

Ultimately, public school advocates also contend that vouchers would not improve student achievement; they argue that studies of existing voucher programs show no conclusive evidence that choice leads to better academic results. “Students who attend private schools do not outperform students who attend public schools,” Cortese said. “If vouchers don’t work, why would we want them?”»

PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL? IT’S YOUR CHOICE. Friel, Brian, National Journal, 03604217, 1/1/2005, Vol. 37, Issue 1/2