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Vouchers and School Choice Meet the Needs of Parents

School Choice Meets the Needs of Parents

Parents are requesting the ability to choose a school for their children as a means towards legitimate objectives. “The parents are saying that they are not going to tolerate their children being miseducated any more, and that they are the ones who ultimately responsible for what happens for their children”. (Milwaukee Parental Choice program). “Parents are using the scholarships to meet a number of needs, including high academic standards; safety; discipline; and moral environment”.(Following The Teachers’ Lead).

The bad situation at many of the public schools encourages parents to look for other public or private schooling for their children. “Dire condition of too many today’s public schools, especially in inner cities where disadvantaged families have no alternatives and where the students are stuck in failing schools because of where they live.”(Unleashing Pent-up Demand). “The quality of of public education is low relative to the quality of private one. For example, only two high schools in Chicago public school system are ranked in the top 100 high schools in Chicago metropolitan area based upon their ACT scores”.(Chicago Tribune, January 1,1994). “In the past four years, New Jersey powered more than $100 million in the city’s schools system -despite this, fewer than half of the nine graders pass the state proficiency exam”.(Choice in Action) “Those who know the school best – the teachers -in America’s troubled cities are two or three times as likely as the public at large to use private schools”.(Following The Teacher’s Lead).

A good indication on the success of the program its expansion year after year ever since it was initiated . “Milwaukee, …

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…out strong students in terms of standard of achievements. However the idea is to give chance to all choose the appropriate school for their children. Administrations and teachers of schools characterized with not accepted standards of performance should be aware that their schools are going to close eventually and they will loose their jobs.

We care for standard and quality of learning for our children; school choice is improving standard and quality. We care for accountability; school choice implies a warning that schools which don’t guarantee a minimum standard of achievement for its students will be subject to public accountability. We care for the cost ; it looks that on the long run, the cost per student on the basis of school choice will be less than the cost per student in public schools. Accordingly I would support school choice.

School Choice is the Future of Education

As a proponent of school choice, I see it as one of the reform movements that has a real chance of changing education for the better here in the United States. School choice, if implemented correctly, would give parents and children the opportunity to choose the type of school that they feel best meets their educational needs. They would also be in a position to demand excellence in every way from that school. School choice is a much debated issue and has respected educators gathering on both sides of the issue. Opponents of school choice have no shortage of reasons (both valid in invalid) for why school choice will only lead to the further degradation of our schools and hence should not be implemented. Within the space of this brief article, I will examine and refute one of the more insightful reasons put fourth by school choice opponents for not implementing choice.

Having spent most of my educational career working with students that could be labeled as disadvantaged, at-risk, or any number of convenient labels, I have become concerned with how these students can best be served by both the current educational system and any educational systems that stem from the reform that will inevitably come in one form or another. Many of the students of which I speak have little or no parental support when it comes to their education or anything else for that matter. The reasons for this lack of parental support are many and varied and far beyond the scope of this article. Regardless, some of our most needy children lack the necessary support to succeed in an academic environment, and it is these students that a number of opponents of school choice see as having the most to lose if school choice is implemented on a large sc…

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…s educational advocates which help children make decisions concerning their education and also link them to positive educational experiences. Where parents are involved in the educational decision making process, mentors could still be a welcome resource.

If we are going to provide school choice, this choice must extend to all children. Only through this sort of mentoring program can we truly provide the means necessary for all children to take advantage of educational choice.

Opponents of school choice have many valid concerns, not the least of which should be what will become of children that have parents or guardians who are uninvolved in the child’s education. As proponents of school choice, we must openly examine these concerns and be ready to provide solutions that directly address these concerns.

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