What are your thoughts on school vouchers? - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-14-2006, 08:08 PM   #1
New Yorker
 
Flying FuManchu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Used to live in Chambana. For now the Mid-South.
Posts: 3,149
Local Time: 07:09 PM
What are your thoughts on school vouchers?

When I look at today's educational system (especially public high schools) and hear stories from high school kids, it makes me rethink the idea of school vouchers. I'm wondering what people think in general. Something worth trying b/c a lot of public schools, especially in the inner city seem like a lost cause.
__________________

__________________
Flying FuManchu is online now  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:10 PM   #2
Blue Crack Addict
 
U2democrat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: England by way of 'Murica.
Posts: 22,140
Local Time: 12:09 AM
I don't know...I just don't feel like giving up on inner city public schools is the right thing to do. I don't know what the right thing is, but I don't think its vouchers.



We had a pretty heated discussion about vouchers in my English class earlier this semester. Believe it or not it got more personal than the discussion over whether or not creationism should be taught in schools
__________________

__________________
U2democrat is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:12 PM   #3
Refugee
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 2,451
Local Time: 06:09 PM
What exactly are "school vouchers" - I'm from Canada and to my knowledge we don't have them here.
__________________
Harry Vest is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:28 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 07:09 PM
I don't understand the point of a voucher system. It seems like in the end, it will just be more costs/taxes in order to administer such a system.

Why not just let parents choose which school their kids attend?
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:36 PM   #5
New Yorker
 
Flying FuManchu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Used to live in Chambana. For now the Mid-South.
Posts: 3,149
Local Time: 07:09 PM
U2democrat... I've also thought the same (dislike towards the idea of giving up on entire schools so that a select few or many are able to obtain opportunities not afforded to them in public schools) but I also think about how many kids with the potential to do well in school and are extremely intelligent are hindered by the culture/ environment that they are studying in. How much potential has been lost b/c of peer pressure and an anti-education culture that seems to be prevalent in inner-city public schools.

I dunno about you but I've been a student in both public schools(city school and later nice suburban school) & private schools (nice college prep school) and the idea of separating the "smart" kids from the "apathetic/ slow" kids is nothing new and seemingly done everywhere. Giving the "smart" kids the opportunity to progress faster while the other kids get to progress at their own pace is what I look at school vouchers being similar to in theory.
__________________
Flying FuManchu is online now  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:37 PM   #6
New Yorker
 
Flying FuManchu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Used to live in Chambana. For now the Mid-South.
Posts: 3,149
Local Time: 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Harry Vest
What exactly are "school vouchers" - I'm from Canada and to my knowledge we don't have them here.
Wikipedia definition:

"An education voucher, commonly called a school voucher, is a certificate by which parents are given the ability to pay for the education of their children at a school of their choice, rather than the public school to which they were assigned."
__________________
Flying FuManchu is online now  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:39 PM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
WildHoneyAlways's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: In a glass case of emotion
Posts: 8,158
Local Time: 06:09 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
Giving the "smart" kids the opportunity to progress faster while the other kids get to progress at their own pace is what I look at school vouchers being similar to in theory.
I believe people who support vouchers would like them to be available to different types of students; not just the "smart" kids.
__________________
WildHoneyAlways is offline  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:42 PM   #8
New Yorker
 
Flying FuManchu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Used to live in Chambana. For now the Mid-South.
Posts: 3,149
Local Time: 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways


I believe people who support vouchers would like them to be available to different types of students; not just the "smart" kids.
That's probably true, but IMO but there probably be some sort of standard and my assumption (and again I'm not acting like I know everything about school vouchers) is academic achievement has to come into play otherwise who gets to qualify for the voucher?
__________________
Flying FuManchu is online now  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:53 PM   #9
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by WildHoneyAlways


I believe people who support vouchers would like them to be available to different types of students; not just the "smart" kids.
Yeah. I guess my understanding was that part of the point is so that parents whos kids are currently forced to go to the crappy schools would have that choice. I thought it was to benefit those who DON'T already have enough money to afford a good private school. Instead, they could send their kid to a good public school.

But I still don't understand the concept of the actual voucher. Wouldn't it be easier to just say, OK, people can enroll where they want rather than have the government pass out documentation that says the same thing?

Either way, I don't think academic achievement should have any part in it. If it did, the vouchers would never reach the people they are intended to help - kids stuck at crappy schools. They want to change schools so that they can do better academically, not because they already are.
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 11-15-2006, 03:50 PM   #10
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 01:09 AM
Since public schools in the US are funded primarily by local property taxes, I don't know how you could really implement an "everyone just enrolls where they want" system. It seems like you'd wind up with whichever (public) schools are locally perceived as The Best being overcrowded with students they may not even be getting funding for. The whole idea of the voucher is that whatever tax money the student's neighborhood school would've received to educate them (based on per capita averages relative to the school's tax base) gets transferred to a school they freely chose instead, sort of with like a food stamp--you "pay" your new school with the voucher, which they then submit to the government to get their due funds to educate you. Thus, "good" schools are rewarded with more funding while "bad" schools are punished by losing it, applying market forces to education which (so the thinking goes) will result in "bad" schools either being forced to clean up their act or go under.

In practice though, in most places in the US that have a voucher sytem, most students use them to go to a private school, not a public one, with their families making up any difference out of their own pockets. Also, the number of vouchers available is kept quite small relative to the total number of students, so as to prevent overcrowding and/or mass abandonment. So far as I know, the main criteria for voucher eligibility with all current US voucher programs is financial need, not academic merit. However, since private schools aren't obligated to take students they don't want and public schools have enrollment limits, in practice I suppose merit (i.e., previous academic record) probably does enter into it somewhat.
Quote:
Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
How much potential has been lost b/c of peer pressure and an anti-education culture that seems to be prevalent in inner-city public schools.

Giving the "smart" kids the opportunity to progress faster while the other kids get to progress at their own pace is what I look at school vouchers being similar to in theory.
The problem with this is, a "prevalent anti-education culture" shouldn't be any child's "pace." I don't know about where you live, but everywhere I've ever lived, it's not like there's (e.g.) one high school with a great rep for vocational ed, another with a great rep for humanities education, another with a great rep for sci/tech preparation, and another one that's great for artsy kids or whatever. Basically there are just one(s) that are considered Good, ones that are considered merely OK, and ones that are considered Bad, and pretty much all parents know which is which. And almost invariably, this stratification is directly linked to the socioeconomic demographic of the school in question. Good schools are Good because they're in well-off areas with predominantly white-collar and professional families who provide their kids with lots of educational and achievement-oriented-social stimulation outside of school; Bad schools are Bad because they're in poor areas with predominantly blue-collar and undereducated families who can't or don't offer their children those kinds of resources. So I find it hard to be optimistic that "market forces" alone would suffice to transform that in most cases; education just isn't a discrete "product" in that hard-and-fast sense. The alternative, I guess, would be to have some sort of separate-the-academically-challenged-out-early-and-stick-'em-in-vocational-ed type system, more like what some European countries traditionally had; but actually most of them are increasingly moving away from that approach nowadays, as the nature of what it takes to make a living in an increasingly post-industrial economy changes.

It's hard not to be hypocritical about this topic for most of us, though--I doubt there are many in here who went to primarily poor, inner-city public schools, or would want their own children to go to them. I guess in my case, I'm not so much bothered by the thought of giving academically high-achieving poor students the opportunity to leave for a better school--in fact, I benefitted from just that myself in high school, though it was through scholarships, not vouchers--as I am by the thought that this in and of itself is seen as a "solution" to the problem of "Bad" schools. Because what about all the other children who get left behind--because their grades weren't that great, or their parents make just a few dollars too much to qualify for a voucher, or there weren't enough vouchers to go around, or whatever?

It just sounds more like fatalistic triage than transformative competition.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 11-15-2006, 06:42 PM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The American Resistance
Posts: 4,754
Local Time: 06:09 PM
In favor.

Anything to breakup the current government run/union-dominated/mired in bureaucracy monopoly we now have and introduce some much needed competition into our education system.
Competition makes services better and provides choice. We're all pro-choice when it comes to children, right?
__________________
INDY500 is offline  
Old 11-16-2006, 08:01 AM   #12
The Fly
 
DILETTANTE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 160
Local Time: 07:09 PM
Against -- at least in its current form. There are a limited number of vouchers available, and they often don't come even close to covering the full cost of tuition and fees at the private schools that accept them. The more savvy and wealthier families have access to them, and take their kids and their resources out of the public schools. Kids with less savvy parents --or parents with less flexible schedules who are unable to fill out the forms, locate the schools that accept the vouchers, get their kids through the private school admission process, and make up the difference between the what the vouchers cover and what attending the private schools cost -- often don't have access to the programs.
My solution would be to change the way that public schools are funded in this country. Local funding, often based on property taxes has led to huge differences between schools, and even between school systems. It doesn't make sense to me that one public school lacks basic essentials, and another school a few miles away has wonderful facilities and resources -- that are only available to the students who are economically blessed to live in that zone, county or neighborhood.
Oh -- I attended so-called "inner city" schools, and have worked in several more, so I tend to be rather opinionated when it comes to public education in this country.
__________________
DILETTANTE is offline  
Old 11-16-2006, 08:23 AM   #13
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 07:09 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by DILETTANTE
Against -- at least in its current form. There are a limited number of vouchers available, and they often don't come even close to covering the full cost of tuition and fees at the private schools that accept them.
So, you could use a voucher for a private school? Then how are they even remotely fair if not every student gets one? I don't think my parents would be too pleased at all if some of my sister's peers got government money to attend a private school while they still have to pay $7500 a year. An no, my parents are not rich. They've sacrificed pretty much everything so we could attend good schools (the public ones here are disgusting and laughable, and it's no fault of the teachers).
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 11-16-2006, 05:53 PM   #14
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 01:09 AM
Anyone know why it is that local property taxes account for such a large percentage of public school funds in the US? So far as I know, we are just about the only country that does it this way.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 11-16-2006, 06:39 PM   #15
The Fly
 
DILETTANTE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 160
Local Time: 07:09 PM
[So, you could use a voucher for a private school? Then how are they even remotely fair if not every student gets one? I don't think my parents would be too pleased at all if some of my sister's peers got government money to attend a private school while they still have to pay $7500 a year. An no, my parents are not rich. They've sacrificed pretty much everything so we could attend good schools (the public ones here are disgusting and laughable, and it's no fault of the teachers). [/B][/QUOTE]

Yes. As I understand the programs -- at least in this area -- vouchers can -- and usually are-- used for private schools. It is probably not a coincidence that the most reasonably priced schools are often "faith-based" -- including Catholic schools.
As to the issue of using government money for a private school, welll, on the one hand, that's already happening for some special education students, where the public schools can't meet their needs. Again, this option is often most readily available to the more system-savvy parents with more resources.
On the other side, most private schools do have some scholarship students -- so, one way to view the voucher is that it's the money that would have been spent to educate the student in public school, that can move with the student as a voucher to be spent on tuition at a private school. The issue that might displease your parents is the limited number of vouchers -- since your sister might not get one, while the student sitting next to her in class might.
__________________

__________________
DILETTANTE is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com