The five school systems in Tennessee that have come out to formally oppose school vouchers haven’t exactly done that great of a job preparing students for college.
This, according to statewide statistics members of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission reported last week.
As The Tennessee Star reported, representatives from some of these school systems said they have higher academic standards than charter schools.
About 67 percent of Madison County students who went off to college needed remedial math classes. Almost 45 percent of them need remedial reading, according to the figures.
Exactly 62.7 percent of students coming out of Metro Nashville Public Schools, meanwhile, had to take a remedial math course. About 47 percent of those students needed a remedial reading class, according to statistics.
Also in Nashville, 90 percent of students at Maplewood Comprehensive High School who went off to college needed remedial math. About 76 percent needed remedial reading courses. Almost 92 percent of students at White’s Creek Comprehensive High School needed remedial math, and 78 percent of them needed remedial reading. For Stratford Comprehensive High School, 88 percent needed remedial math courses. More than 73 percent of the students needed remedial reading.
Christiane Buggs, who represents District Five of the Metro Nashville Public School Board, told The Star Monday she and her colleagues passed a resolution opposing taxpayer dollars for private schools.
“I would suggest that we at least let taxpayers decide for themselves. Do they want to allow their own taxpayer dollars go to different private schools?” Buggs asked.
“We still have areas where we have to have growth, but no private schools (here) have stood up to say they would accept these vouchers. If there were private schools that would accept them would there be regulations mandating how these public funds would be used and who would be checking on these students’ educations?”
Among the other findings:
• 41.5 percent of Houston County students needed remedial math courses at college; and 24.4 percent of them needed remedial reading classes.
• Of the students who came out of Oak Ridge High School, 39.8 percent needed remedial math; and about 22 percent of them needed remedial reading.
• In Wilson County, 38 percent of high-schoolers on their way to college needed remedial math; about 23 percent of them needed remedial reading.
Madison County School Board member Janice Hampton told The Star last week that charter schools don’t measure up to the same academic standards as public schools. Public schools, she said, are better suited to meet all students’ needs.
“If students of public education will go to charter schools or private schools you (will) have many teachers losing their jobs,” Hampton said.
“Many administrators will lose their jobs because there will not be enough students in the school district to be taught. Is it fair for teachers who have gone so far to get educated and then to get certified to teach courses to lose their jobs because of vouchers? I don’t think it’s right.”