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I'll vouch for this. . .

School vouchers as a solution are a substitute to actually figuring out what is wrong with public education and figuring out how to repair it. Granted, some school systems (Washington D.C.) should be razed just because problems there are so ingrained and pernicious. But anyone who says the cure-all panacea is "market forces" without elaboration is a P.T. Barnum looking to separate you from your wallet, much like how politicians who claim miraculous budgetary savings through promises of "reform" without mentioning what exactly what he shall reform. (Aside: Any politician running for office who claims there is gross mismanagement in the government has a civic duty to to alert the press, alert the public, and to try to force some type of investigation before election day. If the government is mismanaging my money that badly, I don't want it to continue to mismanage that money all the way up to inauguration day.)

According to Am. Pro., Chile who went all out to privatize schools have seen precious little improvement in scores 30 years hence. That goes to show the private sector there didn't any more of a clue than the public sector as to improve scores. That is my biggest complaint with voucher proponents. They aren't willing to admit that you're not guaranteed an improved education. That is how they sell vouchers. If you can't get your kid into an exclusive private school, or you find out the one you wrote the check to is mismanaged, well, you're out of luck and options for redress are more limited.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2004 12:29 pm (UTC)
The problems are many, but can be boiled down to mandated attendance, standardized curriculum and outcome based "education". If schools--of any type--were allowed to experiment with methodology, materials, and the like, and if teachers could be anyone who had a genuine love of a subject and the ability to pass it on (not someone who has learned to manage classrooms,but someone who loves to teach) and if students could choose that they want to be there, you'd see rapid "improvement" whatever that is.

A large part of the problem besides the aforementioned is that we have defined "good" in an arbitrary manner that has much more to do with job marketability than anything approaching education. The system as it is now is irreparably broken, and the source and amount of funding won't change a thing.
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