The fight over vouchers continues unabated here in the state of Utah, and there have been a great number of very worthy arguments against over the course of the last month or so. Here are some of my favorites
Many have responded to the voucher defence by Sutherland Institute spokesman Paul Mero (who prefers his quiver privately fletched at public expense). The Voice of Utah and The World According to Me both challenged the flawed arithmetic, research skills, and reasoning of Mero’s press release (If the staff of the Sutherland Institute was largely publically educated, would that mean the flaws in the press release actually help their case?).
Mero not only presents inaccurate information, but makes the ludicrous assertion that public education has threatened the LDS faith with “cultural extinction” (yes, Paul, the LDS faith is certainly dwindling in Utah, isn’t it?). Accountability First, a great source for exploring many aspects of the voucher issue, condemns Mero’s use of religious demogogury. Jeremy’s Jeremiad takes Mero to task for pining for the idyllic early days of Deseret. Rob at the Utah Amicus does as well, and also points to an article by BYU emeritus professor of history Thomas G. Alexander challenging Mero’s vision of Days Gone By (must be one of them Ivory Tower liberals!).
But Mero wasn’t the supporter of welfare for the rich whose data seems flawed. The Third Avenue notes that one advocate determines the average cost of private schools by excluding the more expensive schools from his average. This makes perfect sense—why account for data which doesn’t support your previously determined conclusion?
Voucher-supporting legislators apparently don’t mind using manipulation and bully tactics in support of their pet cause. The Third Avenue finds it reprehensible that key Republican legislators have threatened to blackmail local businesses. The Voice of Utah, however, sees another, more understanding excuse for their behavior.
Wasatch Watcher questions the integrity of pro-voucher campaign leader Jeff Hartley, who attempts to mislead the public about the nature of the pro-voucher campaign.
The Davis Dijeridu links to the astounding lack of quantifiable data in support of the theoretical claims of the voucher folks.
And finally, Steve Olsen at Utah Amicus boils both sides down to their essential arguments, with the aid of the Ogden Standard Examiner.
There are plenty more good ones where those came from. But I’ll stop at these, a sampling of the best responses to the voucher argument.