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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
School Vouchers
    #2900505 - 07/17/04 07:43 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

My favorite domestic issue is school vouchers. Our system of public education and government run schools is a complete and unmitigated disaster in the urban areas.

I read a book by Sol Stern. It is titled: Breaking Free, Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice.

Stern is an interesting author. He grew up in the public school system of New York in the 50's. He came from a liberal Jewish family. He was a radical in the 60's, he edited and wrote for a magazine called Ramparts which I have heard was a new left radical magazine back in the day. Now days he has been called a "champion for the libertarian right in its relentless crusade to privatize education".

He makes a great case, and I would highly recommend his book. He calls school choice "the next civil rights movement", and I agree with him.

This country is and will always be divided on many things. One of the few things that we can agree upon is that the state of our public schools is pretty sorry in our cities.

In his latest budget proposal, New York city mayor wants to up the budget to $18,000 per student. When government programs fail, as they often due, the problem is always that they are "underfunded". That is what they tell us.

I think that we have a government education monopoly. I think it restricts choice and provides a poor product. I think that vouchers can change both those things. Having a government in charge of schools also gives them an opportunity to turn teaching into brainwashing our youth with agenda driven politics.

I like choice, I like freedom, I don't like big government. I would like to offer the generations to come an excellent education. The people who need the most out of their education to break the cycle of poverty get the least out of it.

This issue is very important to me. I think a education revolution can fundamentally change this nation. Even people who have opposed such a direction are now coming around. The main reason for some of this change is that the current state of some of our schools is a crime against humanity.

On the national political stage, George Bush campaigned on vouchers. To me, they were the most exciting part of his domestic policy. He quickly gave them up without much of a fight once in office. No Child Left Behind may indeed make the government monopoly in education bigger than ever before. Whew, thanks George. Beware the reformer!

Democratic politicans don't like vouchers because the teacher's unions are so powerful. Sol Stern devotes much of his book to the unions and how they work for their own best interests instead of the children. It really is a great book.

I was wondering what some of you guys thought about the subject.

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/stern__s.htm
http://7to7.net/stern.html


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Tastes just like chicken


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OfflineGernBlanston
unintended sideeffect

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 841
Loc: In my pants
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Re: School Vouchers [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2900509 - 07/17/04 07:46 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I think that vouchers are government subsidies of private schools. Whether the education is better or worse is of little concern (to me). I do not want my tax dollars going to support private industry. The end. By Gern Blanston. Copyright 2004.


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There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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Invisiblesilversoul7
Chill the FuckOut!
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Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 27,301
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Re: School Vouchers [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2900517 - 07/17/04 07:49 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I'm somewhat conflicted on this. On the one hand, I don't think public education should be supported by initiation of force(read: income tax), but by the same token, neither should private education. But if I have to choose between the two, I'd go with vouchers.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: GernBlanston]
    #2900530 - 07/17/04 07:57 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

GernBlanston said:
Whether the education is better or worse is of little concern (to me).




I think that it should concern all of us. With few other credible alternatives, inner city kids are going from one failing system (schools) to another (prisons).

You are right though. It is a government subsidy. The GI bill is a government subsidy of private schools as well. Do you support that? What about the people of New York paying 18,000 per student and having a system that produces a crappy product? Would you rather pay more to have the government run something just because it is not "private industry".

And think about the products that you buy. That computer you type on is made in private industry. Private industry, free markets and choice give us a wide array of excellent products. Their is no reason to assume that private industry couldn't solve the current crisis in public education, and probably at a significant savings. Before the advent of "public schools", every school was in "private industry".

I think that freedom of choice is the solution. I am pro choice.


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Tastes just like chicken


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OfflineAncalagon
AgnosticLibertarian

Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1,364
Last seen: 7 years, 9 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2900532 - 07/17/04 07:58 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

That was a very eloquent post and I agree with much of it. Like Silversoul, I do not LOVE the concept of vouchers. Given the choice between income-tax funded public schools and a voucher system, I too would choose the vouchers. Personally, I would like to see the complete privitization of education in the long run. The first step obviously is to get the Federal Government out of Education and eliminate the HORRIBLE and counter-productive DoE.


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?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: GernBlanston]
    #2900559 - 07/17/04 08:18 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

And let me post it in a different way. Suppose the Government decide that driving was a right and we should all have cars. Then the government started making and giving away cars for free. Would you take a free car, or would you still pay the market price for a car?

It wouldn't matter that the government paid $100,000 per car and produced a crappy car, people would be taking the free cars in droves. The auto industry would be crushed. The private school industry was crushed in just the same fashion. It is a testament to it's failings that people will still pay for private schools instead of taking a free government product. To think of what the free market might produce if the billions of dollars diverted to government schools were allowed to operate in a free market of ideas.

I believe the change would be slow at first but fundamently earth shattering in the end. The revolution isn't easy, for it is a complete paradigm shift in the way our nation views education.

I have so much passion for this, I can't even begin to explain it adequately.


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Tastes just like chicken


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Anonymous

Re: School Vouchers [Re: GernBlanston]
    #2900970 - 07/17/04 11:32 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

I do not want my tax dollars going to support private industry.

who do you think gets the contracts to build the roads?

aircraft carriers?

machine guns?

police uniforms?

fire trucks?

who provides food in return for food stamps?


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OfflineTao
Village Genius

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 1 year, 5 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: ]
    #2901467 - 07/18/04 02:41 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

^^^^^^^^  Excellent Point.


I support school vouchers and think a similar system should be created for healthcare. :thumbup:


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Invisibleafoaf
CEO DBK?
 User Gallery

Registered: 11/08/02
Posts: 32,665
Loc: Ripple's Heart
Re: School Vouchers [Re: ]
    #2903686 - 07/18/04 10:58 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

ultimately, doesn't all government spending come
back into the hands of a private citizen?


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All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: School Vouchers [Re: JesusChrist]
    #2903922 - 07/19/04 12:10 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

If you want government regulations to destroy private educational institutions, throw your full support behind school vouchers. Vouchers will bring to private schools the same problems that plague government run schools. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen. As we have seperation of church and state, so should we also have seperation of school and state. The minds of our young people are too important to be trusted to state sponsored propaganda under the guise of 'education.'


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineRedo
CTA

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1,296
Last seen: 11 years, 4 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Evolving]
    #2903942 - 07/19/04 12:17 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
As we have seperation of church and state, so should we also have seperation of school and state.




Yes, kids should also be of legal age the day they are born...


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Invisiblez@z.com
Libertarian
Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 2,876
Loc: ATL
Re: School Vouchers [Re: afoaf]
    #2903947 - 07/19/04 12:19 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

afoaf said:
ultimately, doesn't all government spending come
back into the hands of a private citizen?



No. Much (or perhaps most) of it is wasted.


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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Redo]
    #2904990 - 07/19/04 11:21 AM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Redo said:
Yes, kids should also be of legal age the day they are born...



What's with the non sequitur?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineRedo
CTA

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1,296
Last seen: 11 years, 4 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Evolving]
    #2905092 - 07/19/04 12:11 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

Redo said:
Yes, kids should also be of legal age the day they are born...



What's with the non sequitur?




It was my way of showing how some parents cannot be trusted to school their own children.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
Chill the FuckOut!
 User Gallery

Registered: 10/10/02
Posts: 27,301
Loc: mndfreeze's puppet army
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Redo]
    #2905123 - 07/19/04 12:35 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Redo said:
Quote:

Evolving said:
Quote:

Redo said:
Yes, kids should also be of legal age the day they are born...



What's with the non sequitur?




It was my way of showing how some parents cannot be trusted to school their own children.



It was a rather weak attempt at making a weak point.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Redo]
    #2905224 - 07/19/04 01:05 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Redo said:
It was my way of showing how some parents cannot be trusted to school their own children.



Well it didn't work. Now if some parents can't be trusted to school their own children, couldn't is similarly be said that some teachers, educational bureaucrats, and promoters of agendas in the public schools are unfit to be schooling (or setting the curriculum for) children as well?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineRedo
CTA

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1,296
Last seen: 11 years, 4 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Evolving]
    #2905304 - 07/19/04 01:46 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
Well it didn't work. Now if some parents can't be trusted to school their own children, couldn't is similarly be said that some teachers, educational bureaucrats, and promoters of agendas in the public schools are unfit to be schooling (or setting the curriculum for) children as well?




Yes, but there are tests and evaluations still. Public schooling inst completly manditory either, but there are rules to home schooling as well. There always will be something in place.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Redo]
    #2905384 - 07/19/04 02:27 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Redo said:
Yes, but there are tests and evaluations still.



These tests and evaluations used in the state run educational system seem to be of little benefit when we look at the results produced by these institutions. In this country we are still graduating people who are functionally illiterate, who are unable to even fill out an employment application at McDonald's. The public schools are not preparing the youth to enter the real world - they are failing. Increased centralization in education hampers innovation and is a disservice to conscientious and creative educators as well as their students.

Quote:

Public schooling inst completly manditory either, but there are rules to home schooling as well.



Funny, I know of numerous incidences where various government agencies have harassed home schoolers and have/continue to push for legislation to outlaw or so severely regulate home schooling as to make it practically impossible. Why in the discussion of state education do you seem to dwell on home schooling as the alternative? Do you think that the only alternative to state schooling is home schooling?

Quote:

There always will be something in place.



Does this mean that you believe that state institutions will exist in perpetuity or that people will always devise a means of educating their young?


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Evolving]
    #2905438 - 07/19/04 02:52 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:
If you want government regulations to destroy private educational institutions, throw your full support behind school vouchers. Vouchers will bring to private schools the same problems that plague government run schools. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen. As we have seperation of church and state, so should we also have seperation of school and state. The minds of our young people are too important to be trusted to state sponsored propaganda under the guise of 'education.'




I can see your fear. Once schools start accepting money from the government they will become dependant on it. Then once they are dependant the government could come in a bully them around. It didn't really happen with the GI Bill though, which sent millions of veterans to schools both public and private. The program has been considered a success on both sides of the political spectrum. I think the most important aspect of that success is because the choices the GI's made were self determined.

I would be all for a separation of church and state in a theoretical sense, but that isn't very practical now. And I would agree that "The minds of our young people are too important to be trusted to state sponsored propaganda under the guise of 'education.'

You have to take a pragmatic look at the reality of the educational landscape. 92% of students attend public schools. If you abolished government schools without giving the market the time to create a viable alternative you would have civil unrest. It is not a realistic option.

The best way to introduce market forces, local parental control, and public accountability of schools is through vouchers. It is also the best way to tear down the government monopoly and the dominance of the state in education. Maybe in theory it is unacceptable to you, but in practice I would think you would have to compare it to the alternative, which is the current corrupt government system.

And that is the most important part of the debate. Our schools in the inner cities are mental slaughterhouses. They are merely holding cells to keep kids off the streets for a few hours. They might deliever a few tidbits of PC groupthink, but they don't educate our children. I live in an urban area, and the school my child is tasked to is a place where minds go to die. My child will go to private school, but the other children in my neighborhood do not all have that luxury.

Maybe their parents should have been more responsible and had a plan for their children's education, but making the child pay for the sins of the parent is a tough way to go. And it isn't like we are not already spending the money anyway. A voucher program could give significantly less than the public expenditres on students per capita. For every student that leaves the system, more would be available per student for those who stayed in. The competition would also force public schools to adjust as more people voted with their feet.

Competiton and freedom have built this country into the greatest nation in the world. I don't see why those same proven principles would not apply to the eductation market. People deserve better than what they are getting for their money. They deserve a choice. I am pro choice.


--------------------
Tastes just like chicken


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 4 years, 2 months
Re: School Vouchers [Re: Evolving]
    #2905465 - 07/19/04 03:05 PM (12 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

Evolving said:

These tests and evaluations used in the state run educational system seem to be of little benefit when we look at the results produced by these institutions. In this country we are still graduating people who are functionally illiterate, who are unable to even fill out an employment application at McDonald's. The public schools are not preparing the youth to enter the real world - they are failing. Increased centralization in education hampers innovation and is a disservice to conscientious and creative educators as well as their students.





That is why I want to break up the government monopoly. I do agree with much of what you say, I just think that vouchers can help achieve this more than anything else. I my urban school system they have a policy of "social promotion". The think it would be cruel to hold a kid back if he can't be with his friends. The give him no incentive to do any of the work at all. It is a disgrace. At the end of the last year of high school, these kids still get to walk in the graduation ceremonies. They even get handed something that looks just like a diplmoa. It is called a "Certificate of Attendance". HA! A CERTIFICATE OF ATTENDANCE! Great job buddy, you showed up to school more than you didn't. Here is to you!

Think about how these socially promoted kids drag down the entire system. Think about your own bright child trying to learn in a class where most of the kids have been promoted just for the sake of polictical correctness. I don't want my kid to be the only one that can read at grade level, and to have the other kids slowing down progress.

The system is a farce.

I doubt that every kid could be saved, but you could certainly save a lot of them. Millions. How our kids get educated today has a direct and dramatic impact on what our society will look like tomorrow. Even with my own children going to private schools, they will still live in an America where 92% of the kids are coming from public schools. The failings of that system will affect every American, regardless if they choose public schools or not.


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Tastes just like chicken


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