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UW-Madison's Mead speaks with WORT/89.9 FM about school voucher programs

March 15, 2017
UW-Madison's Julie Mead recently appeared on WORT/89.9 FM to talk about school vouchers.

Mead is a professor with the School of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Mead begins the segment talking about the different types of voucher programs and how they interact with the existing laws and policies. Mead then moves on to speak honestly about potential ramifications for voucher programs and how they effect public schools.

Julie Mead 2015
While setting education policies, Mead says it's most important to think about how to find ways to best serve all kids. Mead says existing research does not suggest kids in voucher programs fare better than kids in public schools, and yet voucher programs are taking away resources and certain elements from public schools. 

"Often we talk just about funding, but there are at least in my view, five elements of publicness: public purpose, public funding, public access so we serve everybody, public accountability to communities and public curriculum. Each of those elements of publicness gets diminished when we begin to privatize," Mead said. 

Mead also goes on to explain that the initial law regarding voucher programs and all expansions since have been buried in large bills containing elements from funding for prisons, parks, roads and everything in between, preventing good, voucher-specific debate.

"That robs us collectively of an opportunity to really pull out the ideas into the light of day and debate them on whether or not they're a good idea," Mead said.

Listen to the full WORT/89.9 FM segment here.
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