I’ve got sort of a different take on the Nevada school voucher story, and on the school privatization movement generally, over on the Independent:
The privatization movement also relies on a widespread — and defeatist — belief that public education not only has failed, but that nothing can be done about that either. Elected Nevada Republicans, privatizers all, will bristle at this, pointing at modest education funding initiatives, or the crusade to force a state takeover of the school district in Clark County. But the wheels didn’t come off during the last week of the legislature because Republicans would not back down from their aggressive commitment to improve public education. The wheels came off because Republicans wouldn’t back down from privatization.
That of course is a nod to the epic smackdown Democrats have been surprisingly and delightfully administering to Brian Sandoval and Republican Senate leader and tiresome blowhard Michael Roberson. But most of the piece explores the privatization movement’s rejection of civic society, the public good and the social contract, and the movement’s surrender to a dark future where the divide between the haves and the have-nots becomes larger and larger.