Monday, March 05, 2007

Better than Monday Night Football: Martire v. Berkowitz on School Choice

Tonight's City of Chicago edition of "Public Affairs," airing through-out Chicago at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21[CANTV], features Ralph Martire, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, discussing public school, charter school and school voucher/school choice performance, accountability and funding issues with show host and legal recruiter Jeff Berkowitz. You may also [Go Here to watch the show with Ralph Martire, as well as other shows with such notables as Obama, McCain, Giuliani, Barrett, Chico and many others on your computer; you can drag the dial on the bottom of the screen to watch only portions of the thirty minute shows; trouble accessing our cinema page on your computer? Try I-Tunes: the same Public Affairs shows are also available there].
The "Public Affairs," cinema page gives you a choice of more than twenty-five episodes of “Public Affairs," to watch on your computer including this week's suburban show with State Rep. John Fritchey [D-Chicago] and Tonight's show in the City with Ralph Martire. The cinema page also has recent shows with Ald. Berny Stone, Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool [D-Chicago], Sen. Garrett [D-Lake Forest], Sen. Syverson [R-Rockford], Metropolitan Planning Council President MarySue Barrett, Phantom of the City Council--Brendan Reilly, State Rep. Paul Froehlich, Eric Zorn-Dan Proft, John McCarron, Gery Chico, former State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, Chicago Mayoral Candidate Dorothy Brown [D] and State Rep. Julie Hamos [D-Evanston], as well as interviews, discussions or remarks with or by U. S. Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giulianiand many, many more pols on our video podcast page[Go Here to Watch the Shows on your computer; you can drag the dial on the bottom of the screen to watch only portions of the thirty minute shows].
Go here for more about tonight's show and guest, as well as an additional partial transcript of the show.
Jeff Berkowitz: …Quoting [former] Senator Rauschenberger, “another billion dollars [for public education] is not going to do it.” He said that you really have to revamp the way you do education—you have to change from, as he put it, the Harry Truman model, which we set up in education about sixty years ago. How much do you disagree with Senator Rauschenberger?

Ralph Martire: Well, I disagree with him a little bit and a lot in some cases. I mean, I think the public school system takes some unfair shots. If you really look at how it is able to prepare students that come from any background, including concentrated poverty, special needs, etc. and you take demographics into account when you start measuring how well private schools versus public schools do on test results, public schools outperform…
Jeff Berkowitz: Carolyn Hoxby from Harvard, a well trained economist in the Economics Department and in the school of Education, finds very different results [from the study you cite] when she looked at school vouchers—

Ralph Martire: She looked at a much smaller sampling.

Jeff Berkowitz: No, I think—

Ralph Martire: It wasn’t hundreds of thousands. In fact, the Bush Administration—

Jeff Berkowitz: Her statistical approach, many economists would say, would be better than the study you are citing, No. 1. No. 2, we have parochial schools throughout the City of Chicago that are rather broad-based, don’t cater to …students from high income families that are intact and so forth. These are often …families with parents with very difficult problems. [Parochial school] children are doing better coming from very similar homes to the homes of those kids in the public schools [in Chicago].

Ralph Martire: Except they are actually not similar. Once again, that has been studied. The lower income parents that are more involved in their children’s education and are willing to scrape together the money or apply to private school are providing far more re-enforcement at home than most of the kids that walk in the door at your typical public school
Jeff Berkowitz: Hoxby addressed that same point and looked at students with a similar background [who] were not the crème-- under a school choice, school voucher program—they were outperforming [the public schools]

Ralph Martire: And, [they] had the parents involved. So, they are not the same kids.

Jeff Berkowitz: Well, the socio-economic background—

Ralph Martire: So, the Hoxby study was flawed.

Jeff Berkowitz: They [the kids attending voucher schools] didn’t all have their parents involved. You’re saying every family from a relatively low socio-economic status [at a voucher school] in the Hoxby Study had two parents, both working, no drugs, no violence—it was all an Ozzie and Harriet household?

Ralph Martire: Did I say that. No, those are your words. What I said is that even within a subgroup, the parents that are more involved with their kid’s education, whether it be a single parent who could certainly do a good job raising a child or two parents-- it is just tougher on a single parent—they are the more involved ones that push their kids into the private schools, etcetera, etcetera, and once again, the studies confirm that…
Ralph Martire, as is airing tonight [8:30 pm on Cable, CANTV] on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs. The show was recorded on February 25, 2007. You may also[watch the show with Ralph Martire here].
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at