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A Case for Vouchers and School Choice

A Case for School Choice

There is growing conflict over the nation’s education policy. Indeed, this conflict remains one of the few areas of divergence between our converging two-party structure. Yet, as is so often the case with pressing concerns in American politics, any real proposals have been drowned under the Washington bureaucracy. Unfortunately, the nation can no longer ignore the ever-expanding education crisis plaguing the country, and Washington must consider school choice as a remedy for the ailing public school system.

The author of this article feels confident in asserting that the public school system in this nation is failing miserably in its attempt to prepare youth for competition in the twenty-first century. Half of the nation does not feel that a high school diploma is a guarantee of the recipient’s basic skills in reading and math. In fact, the nation seemed to express little shock this fall when children in both New York and Washington returned to school – only without classrooms Recent studies of student achievement worldwide only accentuate the deplorable condition of the American education system and the need for some remedy.

School choice, though appearing on the political stage in a variety of manifestations, has essentially one major component. School choice proposals would provide federal and state grants to low- and middle-income families, allowing these families to send their children to a private or parochial school of their choice. In most programs, the private or parochial schools would, in turn, receive a tuition stipend from the state which is subsequently subtracted from the public school system’s total budget.

While popular support for such vou…

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… teachers and teachers’ unions a sense of accountability noticeably absent at present.

For all the rhetoric both parties directed toward children over the past year, it is time they both do more than lament the state of American public schools. Their penchant for delay does nothing but allow more children to mindlessly wander through the school system, only to be mercilessly crushed after graduation by better educated students from across the globe.

School choice is not a market-cures-all proposal. School choice is a program with more promise than any others on the national forefront – it returns responsibility to the school system and devolves power to the parental hands in which it belongs. Washington has played mommy and daddy too long, and has had no success in the role of paterfamilias. Will the real parents please step forward?

Vouchers and School Choice – It’s Time for School Choice

It’s Time for School Choice

The oft sounded death knell for our nation’s public schools can be heard everywhere from the breakfast conversations of Main Street diners to the committee rooms and corridors of our nation’s capitol. Citing sagging test scores and the overwhelming disparity in quality among schools, many argue that something has gone dreadfully wrong with our nation’s public schools. They fret that the very notion of the American Dream might be founded on increasingly shaky ground.

Despite these dire words, public education is not a lost battle. Though the situation in rural and urban areas might be considered desperate, the system is certainly salvageable. Indeed, school choice programs might offer the nation’s public schools a chance for salvation. By increasing school choice, not only would more educational avenues be opened up for disadvantaged youths, the standard of education offered by schools for all students would be raised. Choice programs would allow market forces to clean-up the public schools – streamlining them, making them more efficient, and perhaps even telling schools unable to shape up to “ship out.”

However, critics argue vehemently that school choice programs essentially mean an abandonment of traditional public education. Instead of market forces raising the level of all schools, they fear that choice programs would further stratify our nation’s schools, widening the gap between the privileged and the disadvantaged. To the opposition, school choice programs are little more than cleverly dressed up programs promising hope to disadvantaged members of society but, instead, merely entrenching the well-connected and well-informed deeper into their positions of luxur…

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…ol visit prior to making their school selection.

The success of the White Plains program lies in the fact that it has successfully woven the positive elements of traditional choice ideology with solutions to traditional choice objections. It actively seeks to give every student a fair chance at education, placing accountability squarely on the shoulders of educators and power in the hands of parents – where it belongs. Thus, it stands as a shining example of how school choice initiatives can positively benefit school districts and, more importantly, students across the country. Done correctly, school choice is able to preserve those things we love most about our public schools while at the same time fostering a bold, new educational climate of involved, contemplative parents and educators. That’s a future I think we would all like to see.

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