On November 13, 2011 the Jacksonsun.com posted an editorial, “Go slow on public school voucher recommendations” which is available to read in full Here. (We suggest reading the article so the copious amounts of snark to follow make sense.) The Jacksonsun.com argues vouchers are “loaded with pitfalls” and a “better solution is to… improve underperforming schools.”
Here’s a newsflash for the Jacksonsun.com we have been waiting for these mythical “improvements” of the public education system for 40 + years. How many more years does the Jacksonsun.com consider appropriate until we can call it a failed institution. How many more generations of our children are to be tossed aside waiting for these mythical improvements?
Please, if the Jacksonsun.com knows how or what can “fix” this system, please share with us. A couple of charter schools does not a “fixed system” make. We are waiting….waiting….waiting…
As for vouchers being “loaded with pitfalls” all we can say is SERIOUSLY!?!. This gets so tiresome. It can only be willful ignorance to deny the evidence all around us that vouchers work. We refer the Jacksonsun.com to A Win-Win Solution: The Empirical Evidence on School Vouchers released 3/23/2011 by Greg Forster, Ph.D and available to read in full Here. It reviews all available empirical studies that use the “gold standard” method of random assignment and all available empirical studies of how voucher programs affect academic achievement in public schools. Bottom line: the empirical evidence consistently shows that vouchers improve outcomes for both participants and public schools.
As for the Jacksonsun.com concerns about where would the extra money come from; transportation; extracurricular activities; friends, etc. here’s another newsflash for the Jacksonsun.com there are some parents, even some poor and uneducated parents who are willing to move heaven and earth to get their child a better education. Just to name a few examples:
- Indiana’s new voucher program which approved nearly 4,000 students for participation in 2011-12, making the Choice Scholarship Program the biggest first-year voucher program ever.
- The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program where parents generally have to contribute additional funding, yet 1300+ families find a way to make it happen.
- Mothers willing to risk arrest and imprisonment to get their children into a better school.
Since it might be “difficult” or require “sacrifices” the Jacksonsun.com solution is to deny freedom of choice to all families, even those who are willing to make it work.
One more newsflash for the Jacksonsun.com, the arguments for school choice (vouchers) have “logic,” empirical data, real world evidence and, novel as it may be, truth to back up the argument for the wisdom of giving parents school choice (vouchers). Whereas, the entire Jacksonsun.com editorial was based on opinion.