Get help from the best in academic writing.

Vouchers and School Choice are Long Over-due

School Choice: Long Over-due

This paper reports on my position on school choice, what I believe is the ideal school choice program and the steps that must be taken to successfully implement school choice. First and foremost, the idea of school choice is not a new concept. Those who could afford it always have had school choice. Now as a potential option for more parents, choice will be constricted by the amount of money and the type of resources (transportation, political influence, etc.) one has.

I approve of the idea of school choice that empowers parents to select their children’s school. However, as choice is now proposed this empowerment will not happen for all parents. Those with the least amount of money and resources will have the fewest choices. In cases where lower income parents lack transportation to the school of their choice, the nearest school will most likely be their only option. Also, where will the additional money come from when lower class parents do not have enough to pay for the school of their choice?

According to economist Lester Thurow (1996), the middle class was created by the government’s investment in education, i.e., GI Bill. School choice seems like the government’s way of sharing the wealth with the middle class in addition to providng more schools to choose from. This effort appears to be an attempt at widening the ever-closing gap between the middle class and the lower class (a.k.a. working poor). School vouchers or educational opportunity grants may even entice parents who send their children to private schools to send their children to public charter schools thereby reducing what they now spend on tuition.

Although school choice does not guarantee a quality education or the employability of graduating students, I believe that school choice will offer competition and have a positive influence on operational efficiency. Based upon conditions in some inner-city public schools (crumbling infrastructure, lack of access to technology, few and/or outdated books, etc.), there will probably be even less students in traditional public schools thereby having a positive effect on reducing the classroom size. This could make teaching in a traditional public school more manageable.

In the readings an argument made for school choice was that children who might otherwise fall through the cracks will be given the chance at an education best suited to meet their needs.

Vouchers and School Choice are Bad

School Choice and Vouchers are Bad

I have spent considerable time reading the literature on the topic of school choice and tuition vouchers. I was initially in favor of the idea simply because it seems to be common sense. After just a little reading, I am now an advid supporter. After all, our entire standard of living is based on the idea of choice. The more choices we have, and the means to pursue those choices, the higher the standard of living we enjoy. In our lives, simply stated, choice means everything. When it comes to public schooling is there a choice? David Kirkpatrick, in his book, Choice In Schooling, argues that choice already exists de facto in our system and it is not regulated. It is because of this lack of regulation such inequality exists.

Let us not kid ourselves, education may profess to be about equity and equal opportunity, but this has never been the case in America or any other country. Education is about power. Power is a tool guarded by those who have it. Those with the means in this society already have exercised their choice and have built their own schools based on choice and in turn new opportunities. The masses have then been left to the confines of a limited system. Make no mistake, in a capitalist society, this is by design.

I remember reading the America at Risk report on Education in America, there was one line in there that summed up the educational system in this country and the lack of effort to change it. “If this current educational system was instituted in America by a foreign nation, it would be cause for a social revolution and a formal declaration of war.” Yet it is accepted by those in power and justified for its existence through laws and coercion of the masses.

Why then do schools stay relatively unchanged? The article, A School for Choice, by Debra Viadero, outlines some “red flags” that are meant to caution for school choice. In my opinion, taken together, these make a weak argument at best to counter the need for choice. The concern of parents being good consumers is a good example of a ridiculous red flags. I suppose it is better to have no choice than to have any choice? Given time, parents will become savvy to the market and make good consumer decisions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.