The nonpartisan Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana is urging state lawmakers and Department of Education officials to practice due diligence in the rollout of the Louisiana Scholarship Program, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s controversial voucher program designed to help students at poor schools attend private and parochial schools on the public dime.

In a lengthy commentary released Thursday on Jindal’s overall education-reform legislation in the just-concluded 2012 session, PAR also warns that reform proponents “seem to have a singular fixation on parental choice as the sole criterion for regulation and accountability,” warning that “over-reliance on parental choice in measuring student attainment and determining the quality and eligibility of schools receiving state support could affect the positive momentum Louisiana has shown through student and school performance accountability.”

Overall a hopeful albeit cautious response to education reforms approved during the session, PAR’s commentary calls for developing approval and eligibility procedures for the voucher program and ensuring that private/parochial schools that accept public school students are accountable for those students’ educational progress.

Read the whole commentary here.

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