Get help from the best in academic writing.

Vouchers and School Choice are Not Necessary

The issue of “choice”, like so many other novel educational reform attempts, serve once again to highlight the fact that something is desperately wrong with the current educational system. While everyone seems to be fully aware of the need for change, no one really knows where to start. In the process of making sense of this need to pin down the problems that beset education, many end up latching on to any novel idea that even vaguely offers the hope of finally bringing that educational calm and success everyone so desperately longs for. The problem with this hit-and-run approach is that it almost always ends up fragmenting the communities and societies that should in fact be pooling their energies and resources on the issue of educational reform. Name me ANY reform movement, and I’ll show you at least two camps for each of them – one “for”, and one “against”.

The proponents of educatonal choice have, over time, carefully built up their pool of arguments in support of its implementation. To fully understand this perspective, and before I share mine, I have selected a collection of quotes from various proponents of educational choice which should present, albeit statically, the central issues underlying the concerns of these and many other students, parents, and teachers. In the process of reading them, please try to focus on the issues they represent rather than the emotions that presently drive them.

“It is time to develop political muscle for parents and children. We know that our urban public school systems are hopelessly broken. We know that unless the parents of children in public schools are able to threaten to enroll their children in competing private schools, the public schools will never be held accountable.”

“Lessons must be learned from Voucher Bill Defeat”, Joseph Walsh

“The most recent National Assessment of Education Progress reading test reports that 30% of high school seniors, 31% of eighth graders, and 42% of fourth graders couldn’t reach “basic” reading levels. Those students who have spent from four to thirteen years in school, don’t have even “partial mastery” of the reading skills expected at their grade level.”

“The High Cost of Rationing Literacy”, Martha C. Brown

“There is no more important issue today than the education of our children. We could possibly disagree that our society – crippled by gang violence, teen pregnancy, and welfare dependancy – would experience a Renaissance if every child received quality education?

Vouchers and School Choice Now!

School Choice Now!

This is America the Free, the leader of the free world. I have choice in many aspects of my life. For one of the most important concerns I have – the education of my children – my choices are limited. The government’s rigid control over public education choice has got to stop. While it is true I can send my child to a private school, I must incur costs above and beyond what I already provide to society for public education through taxes. I can afford this; many people cannot. Those people have no choice.

Is choice desirable? Yes. As expressed by the Constitution of the United States, our capitalistic society certainly believes so. Teachers believe so. Teachers in public schools in large cities are two to three times more likely to put their children in private schools (Barrett, 1995).

Why does America continue to abide such a mockery of freedom? I fear certain factions in the government and some private interest groups still believe that public education is a tool that can be used to manipulate the individual’s loyalties and beliefs for the “good of the state.” If this is true, then it is possible hidden factions continue to keep choice from happening. Charles L. Glenn (see School Choice Emerging in Eastern Europe) expressed this same concern in his 1989 U.S. Department of Education commissioned report. Some believe the report was never published by the U.S. Department of Education because these sentiments represented a threat to certain powers.

I believe that true school reform can only quickly occur from outside the system. Our current public education system is far too complex and self-sustaining to allow the types of sweeping reforms I’d like to see occur in a reason…

… middle of paper …

…the San Antonio Children’s Education Opportunity Foundation – a program that gives parents choice of schools – a study showed a 10% increase in reading and math scores. Vermont has had an educational choice system for students from towns that do not maintain their own public schools since 1869 (McClaughry, 1995)! If there was an inherent, major problem with this system, surely it would have surfaced by now.

Works Cited

Barrett, M. (1995). Choice opportunities: Private Scholarship programs. [Online]

Available HTTP: [1996, March 14].

McClaughry, J. (1995). Educational choice: It really works in Vermont. [Online]

Available HTTP: [1996, March 14].

School choice emerging in eastern europe. [Online]

Available HTTP: [1996, March 14].

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.