Skip to comments.Vouchers will help public schools - Fear loss of MONEY - But what of “for the children?”
Posted on 08/28/2003 3:57:29 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The study found that public schools whose students were eligible for vouchers made significantly larger test-score gains than other public schools in the state. Even public schools that had only one failing grade but faced the threat of vouchers if they failed again made exceptional improvements. Similar low-scoring schools that did not face the prospect of voucher competition, however, did not make similar gains. In Florida, vouchers have provided public schools with powerful incentives to improve. If schools don't improve, they stand to lose students - and the funding they generate - to other schools.
WASHINGTON - Few question whether school vouchers are beneficial for the students who use them to leave failing schools. Rather, the debate has focused on the effect vouchers will have on public schools.
Opponents contend that vouchers will drain resources and talent from public schools, hindering their ability to improve. Proponents argue that the need to attract and retain students will provide public schools with an incentive to improve.
This debate will only intensify as more states look toward vouchers as a means to improve the education provided to their children. Colorado recently passed a pilot voucher program, and similar programs have been debated in Texas, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C.
Both opponents and proponents make plausible arguments, but such an important policy decision should not be based only on convincing rhetoric. Examining the experiences of other communities with voucher programs can show whether expanded choice and competition leads to public-school improvement. A new study by the Manhattan Institute provides valuable evidence that vouchers do work to improve education provided by public schools.
The study examined one of the nation's most important voucher programs - a Florida program that offers vouchers to students in any public school that receives two failing grades in a four-year period. The study found that public schools whose students were eligible for vouchers made significantly larger test-score gains than other public schools in the state. Even public schools that had only one failing grade but faced the threat of vouchers if they failed again made exceptional improvements. Similar low-scoring schools that did not face the prospect of voucher competition, however, did not make similar gains.
In Florida, vouchers have provided public schools with powerful incentives to improve. If schools don't improve, they stand to lose students - and the funding they generate - to other schools.
These results in Florida echo those of other studies, including an analysis of the nation's largest voucher program in Milwaukee by Harvard University's Caroline Hoxby, showing that competition improves public schools.
In fact, no study has ever proven that vouchers harm public-school student achievement. Vouchers may place public-school resources in jeopardy, but that is a different issue. It stands to reason that making public schools earn their resources ensures that public-school students will be better served overall.
Of course, public schools need sufficient resources to do their job well. But when public schools are ensured ever-larger sums of money regardless of student performance, we are likely to end up with schools that fail to educate while costing taxpayers dearly.
Fixing our nation's public schools requires real reform to the education system. Lavishing ever-larger sums of money on public schools alone hasn't worked. Schools also need incentives to use that money effectively.
Jay P. Greene is a senior fellow and Marcus A. Winters is a research associate at the Manhattan Institute's Education Research Office
Competition can provide motivation to improve service.
"We have your children... so don't make any trouble."
So true - a few years ago, I saw a TV interview with the guy Clinton had in charge of education. When asked if he thought it was Ok to keep implementing the "alternative" teaching styles, which had a terrible record of not imparting knowledge to students, he said he thought it was also "important for teachers to self-actualize, so yes, it was a good thing to leave these methods in place even if it meant students didn't learn." This was on TV and I never heard any uproar...
I wish there were a national "Leave my kid alone" movement.
Responsibility and authority must never be seperated. That's another way of saying that you never blame someone for something they didn't have control over.
In the context of schools and other government agencies, money is authority--and nothing less than the possibility of loss of funding can constitute responsibility.
The Democratic Party exists to displace all responsibility onto the scapegoat known as "middle class white men". Naturally such a movement requires southern white male front men such as x42 to succeed electorally. It doesn't look like the Democratic Party has the ability to nominate a southern white male to head their ticket next year--and if not they will undoubtedly lose big.
All the Republican Party must do is stand proudly and adamantly for the middle class as a reality and a realizable universal aspiration against the rich. The Warren Buffet rich, the Pinch Saltzberg rich, and the Jesse Jackson pseudopoor rich.
Public schools are turning out anti-Ameican kids now. Schools competing with public institutions are being very closely scrutinized because LIBERLS fear a stampede. So I'm sure it would be something that could be monitored. A lot of kids go to Catholic schools who aren't Catholic and who don't convert to Catholicism. Look at Jihad Johnny. After he came to light, it was exposed how public school teachers are teaching Islam and having students dress up and pick out new names. Time to shake-up this fraud called education.
Pick any school district in the US. When it comes down to "how much" each kid's attendance is worth in funds from the state versus how much knowledge can be imparted to the student, the cash will win out every time, everywhere.
Students are merely the vehicle to transport it.
I have always understood that many parents would have killed for honor-roll-class report cards for their children such as we were able to take pretty much for granted for our own kids. For that reason, I think,Honor Student Stickers
. . . have always struck me as somehow tacky.
But it a cheap way to keep parents happy and their kids in public schools.
Why is it OK to use "public money" to pay for sending my kids to Notre Dame University, but NOT OK to use "public money" to send them to Notre Dame High School?
None of them has been able to give me an answer yet. Of course, that would require them to admit that all that "public money" is really MY money in the first place, and they certainly aren't going to admit THAT.
No. It doesn't bother me a bit.
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