Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bad move to limit vouchers in D.C.

The NYTimes reports:

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats have put conditions on future federal financing for a small school voucher program here, and they are urging the schools chancellor to prepare the public schools to re-enroll, in fall 2010, some 1,700 students currently attending private schools at taxpayer expense.

That would be a horrible mistake. In the article many opponents state that test scores for those in private school don't demonstrate a dramatic improvement, therefore concluding vouchers a waste of money. That is the wrong metric. That is nonsense.

The proper way to measure whether vouchers are good or bad:

ask the parents!

The essence of America is choice. I have choice for my children, and choose to send them to private school.

Please explain to me why otherwise liberal democrats would want to limit an option for children because of how much money their parents make?

I am please to note the perspective of the school system's leader:

Michelle A. Rhee, the schools chancellor, said she did not share the negative view of vouchers held by many big-city superintendents.

“Part of my job is to make sure that all kids get a great education, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s in charter, parochial or public schools,” Ms. Rhee said. “I don’t think vouchers are going to solve all the ills of public education, but parents who are zoned to schools that are failing kids should have options to do better by their kids.”

Other leftwing groups have mistakenly attached their agenda to that of the 1960's Civil Rights cause, but this is a real Civil Rights Issue that goes beyond race into economic status.

Many middle and working class parents don't make enough money to pay a private school bill, yet their public schools are a failure. It doesn't matter what is wrong with the schools per se, it matters what each individual parent finds fault with in a particular school for their particular child.

We have to decide who should be the "decider", millions of parents for their own child's unique needs or a government planning board that groups people together in the thousands and millions. What if I truly think my child needs school uniforms and more math? What about no school uniforms and more science? What about all girls and more sports? What about a Spanish immersion curriculum? While no school can offer exactly what every parent would want, we should give parents a reasonable opportunity to find a the school that fits best for their particular child.

What's more important eating or education? I'll answer eating. Yet, we aren't assigned a grocery store by the government. In fact, we don't have anyone overseeing the free market that gets food to every grocery store in America every day. What we do is have regulations, inspectors, and other ways to ensure quality and saftey. After that, we allow the free market to rule. Education needs to be done the same way.

I choose America. I choose choice.

Democrats we have a chance to remake America.
If we can propose trillion dollar budgets, surely we can use some of that money to give every parent the options the wealthy among us have routinely.

Craig Farmer
making the word "liberal" safe again!

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