Skip to comments.Why Beverly Hills Needs School Vouchers
Posted on 11/14/2011 5:32:00 AM PST by wintertime
Despite the clear evidence that America's educational system is mired in failure, opposition to vouchers remains fierce. While much of this opposition comes from quarters easily anticipated (such as teachers' unions and the prostituted politicians on their payroll), resistance to vouchers is also surprisingly strong among a much less likely demographic -- wealthy, white suburban parents.
Many such parents feel that their own kids are doing just fine under the present system -- because at their schools, there are no gangs, murders, or graffiti. Their kids get good grades, and can get into college. Also, these parents are content to see poorer folk trapped in wretched urban schools, since it gives their children a decisive competitive edge over the poor children, with whom they suppose their children are in competition.
In short, far too many suburban parents are mired in a delusional complacency.
Two of the brightest researchers into America's educational failures are Jay P. Greene and Josh McGee. They have issued a new report aimed at kicking the complacent stuffing out of these selfish, smug and self-satisfied suburbanites.
Greene and McGee start by noting something obvious, but obviously not well-understood by complacent suburbanites: America's best students are competing not with America's worst students, but -- in a highly globalized economy -- against the best students in Europe and Asia. So if you want to understand how well your kid is really doing, you need to compare him or her to how well kids are doing in developed nations around the world.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
My guess is that these high achieving suburban high schools are more than happy to take the credit for the hard work done in the home by the parents and kids, but quick to blame the family when the child is failing.
Unless "afterschooling" is measure we simply can not know if these high scoring schools are good or not.
I support vouchers but only as a stop-gap measure to build the private infrastructure needed to move toward complete privatization. There are two serious dangers with vouchers. The first is that the government who dishes out the money can control the curriculum and policies thus making private schools de facto government schools. The second is that we could see the massive tuition inflation in private tuition that Pell Grants and loans, a form of college vouchers, have caused on the college and university level.
I am a supporter of homeschooling and have met some impressive kids and parents doing so. I think about my wife and I when our kids were young. We couldn’t have done it for several reasons.
Need an education solution for the masses who won’t or can’t homeschool. Competition through vouchers or some other choice system.
Interesting. However, I think the author misses a point about the mindset of many upper-income, especially liberal, Americans. I don’t think they believe their children are going to be competing in the rough-and-tumble of the free market against the top products of Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Instead, they believe their children will be wafted into suitable, just-like-them university environments, where they will acquire the credentials for comfortable sinecures in government or safely-insulated government-affiliated “private” businesses or foundations. From there, they will control the lives of the unwashed millions whom they safely excluded from their superior schools, as well as, when possible, limiting the free opportunities of intelligent and hardworking foreigners.
To summarize, Grosse Point and Beverly Hills are about perpetuating the government/industry nomenklatura, not about real competitiveness. Therefore, accurate as the researchers’ data may be, they are simply not relevant.
I also think we should think beyond the typical brick and motar, prison-style, Prussian school model. Here are some ideas and vouchers could help us get there:
** Small mini-schools in the homes of neighborhood teachers. ( 7 to 10 students). We already have home-based day care, the regulations on these mini-schools shouldn't be any more onerous than those placed on existing home-centered day care. For many children this might be the ideal setting for kindergarten through 8th grade.
** Charles Murray has suggested qualifying exams instead of formal college attendance. Why not start these exams in first grade? If a child masters addition facts, he takes a qualifying exam and moves immediately to the next level in that subject.
** If a child of any age ( or an adult) passes the GED or equivalent private exam he is immediately awarded an official high school diploma from his local government high school. Imagine the savings to the state, and to the child as he would be able to start his career **years** earlier.
** Businesses such as Kindercare could hire a teacher or two and add grades kindergarten to 3rd grade or higher.
** The local dance or karate studio could open small schools.
** Summer camps could upgrade their facilities and become boarding schools.
** ALL government classes, from pre-k to graduate school, should be on-line for FREE! It should be done **now**! Taxpayers paid for it. They should know what is being taught, and why hide it from them. What are government schools? The Holy Grail of Hidden Education? If this were coupled with private qualifying exams children could move though the system ( or make up missing skills) more quickly.
Most of the Private school around here are Catholic schools.
They employ lay teachers ,where in the past there were the nuns and Brothers.
The Public schools here are pretty good actually. Schools are there to teach and kids who wish to learn can get a good education. Those who are there just putting in their time are just wasting our tax dollars, and slowing down the others.
Why shoulkd a parent pay $!5,000 dollars to send his kid to a private school, when he could get the same education in a public school. For we all know that education starts at home.If the parents do not stay on the kids ass to learn, they won’t . It;s just that simple.
I know nothing about “Beverly Hills” but to lump all upper middle class people with them is a bit unfair.
I think that parents are keenly aware of who the competition is. I am. It is China, India, and SE Asia.
As far as being content to see poorer people sink to the bottom is also unfair. It is hard enough to insure that my kids will have the very best chance at success. I do not have the time to address the problems of a culture who rejects the value of education and if you try to succeed through education you are branded as “acting like whitey”.
Nonetheless, the horrible failure of our education system does put us at risk of civil unrest, OWS may be the tip of the iceburg.
I do support vouchers. It will ultimately weaken the teachers unions. But I do not support using vouchers to introduce violence, drugs and gangs into schools that are already working.
Oh, by the way, we homeschooled for 12 yeaars. Our kids are successful college graduates, on their own, with a bright futures.
Without measuring the effects of afterschooling it is impossible to know if a school is good or not.
And....I'd bet my entire 401k that kids who are excelling in your local socialist schools have parents who are doing nearly everything that I did as a homeschooling parents. I'll bet that their home habits and attitudes resemble very closely those of successful homeschoolers.
The effects of afterschooling on overall socialist school performance has never been studied. ( Really...It hasn't.)
Why should a parent pay $!5,000 dollars to send his kid to a private school,
The average allotment per child in my state per year for their socialist schooling is about $11,000. The true cost, including retirement benefits and county provided services, are likely twice that. There are **NO** private day schools in my state that charge as much as $11,000. There are a few boarding schools ( one is a private psychiatric facility) that do charge more than $11,000. The average tuition ( that means from highest to lowest) is about $4,500.
If you can't find a private school with reasonable tuition, thank your socialist school system. Socialism always creates scarcity of choice and quality, and delivers an inferior product at higher cost. Government run, price-controlled, monopoly cartels always do this.
That’s the trouble I have with vouchers — the government controls the $, they control what the school teaches. You get a voucher, go to a Catholic school, and suddenly they are mandated to teach sodomy and abortion rights and trans-gender nonsense. Only the government benefits.
I believe any student who WANTS to learn, can, in the most impoverished conditions. It only takes the student’s time, a book, and the DECISION to study. Books are in the libraries. Student does not have to be in a school to learn.
I worked in an inner city school, volunteered with a church group. I saw a lot of students who were not there to learn. ‘You can lead a horse to water...’ I helped one, a 10th grader, to test out and go on to college, because ‘nobody here cares about an education.’ She was not talking about the teachers.
>>In short, far too many suburban parents are mired in a delusional complacency.
Worth saying again.
For one thing, the public schools only teach 1 or 2 paragraphs concerning George Washington, the Founding Fathers, and Abraham Lincoln. Secondly, they are force fed all kinds of sexual nonsense that does nothing to enhance their learning. Students need to be prepared to be American citizens, aware of their heritage, and liberty and freedom.
Parents riding their child’s behinds does make the difference for them, but being involved in the public school only perpetuates the socialist dogma emanating from the top of the education system.
Without measuring the effects of afterschooling on overall scores of a school it is impossible to know if the school is effective or not.
As for the successful children attending socialist schools, I bet there is little meaningful difference in the values, attitudes, home schedules, and time spent at the kitchen table or desk of these children when compared to my successful homeschool family.
And....It does seem that lately we have been having socialist school defenders that claim to have homeschooled their children for 12 years. Interesting. Hm? I am reminded of Rush Limbaugh's, “ I love your program. I voted for Bush.” ( with appropriate whine.)
Did you read the article? It is about research that shows that "a good education" at top U.S. public high schools is not (at least in math) comparable to a good education in other countries.
If that doesn't matter to a parent, that's up to him, of course. I admit it's not a big deal to me if the outcome of my homeschool doesn't make J. Random Offspring comparable in math with the products of Singapore. I have one graduate embarked on a Coast Guard career, and a second wanting to have an outdoor recreation business (after a state-college business education).
Whether any type of education is satisfactory to a parent depends, in large part, on what his aspirations for his children are.
Necessity is the mother of invention. A lifetime of govt checks coming (food aid, child aid, housing aid, and a million other forms I don't even know about) removes the need to work hard to keep one's self alive and indoors. Without the need to get the the first rung of the ladder of success, many people never start climbing.
I absolutely agree with the above but would add that the problem goes deeper.
Our modern socialist system of compulsory schooling began in the mid-1800s to early 1900s.
Well?....If children attend socialist schools do you think that they might learn that government has great power? Power to force citizens to pay for tuition-free schooling? Power to **force** children to use it?
So?...If government can give kids tuition free schooling, force them to use it, and force their neighbor to pay for it, do you think these kids might learn that government can give them other “free” socialist goodies? Do you think that one to three generations of socialist schooling might be the reason Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected, that now we have the Marxist Obama in the Red House, and are groaning under the burden of massive socialist welfare?
Parents are also in a state of delusional complacency about the damage that godless secular humanism ( the worldview of all of our socialist K-12 schools) can do their child's soul.
Christian and conservatives teachers are likely delusional as well if they think they can sneak in a few Judeo Christian and conservative principles. They should be worried that they may be teaching the students that Christians and conservatives are **sneaky**.
And....Cute Mrs. Honey Bun, ( who loves her cat) who teaches in the local godless socialist school may very well be deluding young and naive parents. Hey! If cute Mrs. Honey Bun ( who loves her cat) teaches there it can't be that bad.
Finally....If any one can provide a link to a government k-12 school that is not socialist funded, and therefore a socialist entitlement, or is not godlessly secular its worldview, I would appreciate a link. Some here on Free Republic have hammered me for using the words, “all” and “every”.
Personally, I have a hard time accepting that a “good” teacher would willingly seek a job that upholds, establishes and supports teaching godlessness or socialism to children.
I was pointing out the false benchmarking of suburban schools against domestic norms and the inability of those students to compete internationally years ago. The entire story is essentially set out in the TIMSS. Bob Compton’s 2 MIllion Minutes puts a face on the problem. So, this is old news.
Jay Greene hasn’t broken any new ground. He is simply a rather conventional school reformer with a university job who appears on television.
Unfortunately, the academic problems are the least of what is wrong with government schools.
Problem: Our socialist schools are a socialist entitlement. There is real risk that the children attending socialist school will learn that the government has great power to give them, not only tuition-free socialist schooling, but **lots** of socialist goodies....and...has the power to force them to use it.
Problem: No school can be religiously, politically, or culturally neutral. By default our nation's socialist K-12 schools are godlessly secular. Merely by attending the child swims in a sea of godless secular humanism. And...The Marixsts in socialist schooling now dominate the socialist school political and cultural worldview.
Problem: All schools must maintain order and safety. To do this they must restrict free speech, press, assembly, expression of religion, and religious worldview. Government schools must do this as well ( all schools must) but in doing so they trash First Amendment Rights and freedom of conscience. There is real danger that the child will become acculturated to meekly submitting to unconstitutional government control of his basic God-given human rights.
Next, I have been hammered by some conservative and government school defending Freepers for using the words “no”, “every”, and “all”. So...If any one can send me a link with an exception to the above statements **please** send me a link.
Finally....Personally, I don't understand how a “good” teacher would cooperate with and **willingly** seek a job with a godlessly secular and compulsory socialist school and risk teaching such lessons to children.
Good information for both homeschool lists.
So ping to both.......
all sound feasible to me. Not exactly an expert on this issue but smart enough to know it’s time to toss out the baby AND the bathwater and start over.
I'm impressed with the khanacademy.org educational model. If Sal Khan can create a free world-class education on the Internet - or at least, something which fully replaces textbooks, and even the whole of school for someone who is at all determined to learn - exactly why is he the only one who can do it, and why wouldn't a few paltry millions of dollars solve the whole problem for good and all???
Khan is being supported by donations; why not support him and a dozen competitors/collaborators via the Department of Education - then shut down the whole rest of the DoE operation? Do a better job, and save money to boot compared to looking for better ways for the educrats to milk the system while dumbing education down.
However...I am not czar so I see the use of vouchers on a **short term** political strategy to achieving complete separation of school and state and to build the needed infrastructure for those unwilling or incapable of homeschooling.
Also...I homeschooled 3 children until they entered college. Not everyone has the personality or self-discipline. Some children will need institutionalization for their schooling. There are parents who are too dumb, too ill-educated, too mentally ill, too poor, too ditzy, too selfish, too materialistic etc. to homeschool. Children in these families need to be institutionalized for their schooling.
No problem. Although I was a bit surprised by your post.
I was indifferent to vouchers at first despite the warnings
by more thoughtful ppl that they would lead to government
control of independent schools. Now I think they would
lead to a speedy disablement of independent schools,
because of the deterioration of parents, not to mention the
descent into the abyss by government regulators. Outreach
was possible 15 years ago. Now we need to build walls.
good way to put it