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OfflineTao
Village Genius

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
School Vouchers/Choice
    #4491651 - 08/03/05 09:56 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Does someone have some good links about the issue of School Choice?


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 5 years, 14 days
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Tao]
    #4515191 - 08/09/05 07:04 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1893554074/002-3909675-4717645?v=glance

That link is to a book by Sol Stern.  It is entitled "Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice".  It is a great book and I highly recommend it.

Sol Stern is part of the Manhattan Institute, and writes in City Journal.

http://www.manhattan-institute.org/cfml/cj_author.cfm?author=202

I also read a book by David Brennan, the Akron, Ohio industrialist who spearheaded the Cleveland voucher program.  Brennan couldn't find educated workers, so he started educating them himself.  When the spouses got jealous when a husband or wife could read and they couldn't, he started educating them too, and the kids.  After he made his nut and sold his company, he decided to dedicate his life to education.  Brennan has a great story, but Sol Stern probably writes a more entertaining, informative and comprehensive book.

Out of the two I would start with Stern.  He views school choice as the next civil rights movement, and I agree with him.

Milton Friedman started endorsing the idea of vouchers over 50 years ago.  He has decided that all of his last efforts in life will be concentrated in this area. 

His website is :  http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/

His website has many informative links.

Vouchers are one of my favorite issues in life, and I am a strong advocate.

Vouchers, the Fair Tax, and the War on Drugs are probably my top three.

If I was King for a day I would get the government out of education, legalize drugs and abolish the IRS.  Then I would get a hooker.


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OfflineTao
Village Genius

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4520864 - 08/11/05 03:00 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Damn, I actually thought it would be you who would have the some good links, but I just finished what I needed it for (a speech class).

Thanks though.

Yeah, I really like the idea of vouchers (obviously, since I was doing a speech about it), but I don't think the government should ever actually stop funding it like Friedman was talking about. Wouldn't be fair to kids with too poor parents.

War on Drugs is probably my biggest issue. Even though I post on a drug message board, I'm not actually a big druggie at all, I just find the situation we've come to bearing on incomprehensible. It started out as just "Drugs cause problems, lets not allow people to sell them." Then less than a century later, we have a million or so people in jail because of it, and $40 billion a year in tax money.

I've read what you've written on the Fair tax, and you make a good argument. I guess I'm just skeptical that it wouldn't be less progressive than an income tax, which I see as fair if it weren't for all the loopholes rich people seem to find.

What I'd like to do some reading on now actually is a voucher program for health insurance. I think that sounds like a great compromise between an NHS and the current system which allows 40 million uninsured people. I think Dean talked about it actually.


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Tao]
    #4521405 - 08/11/05 10:29 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Post your speech! And if you uncovered any interesting links please post them.

What surprised me about the voucher issue is that it didn't have much of an organized grass roots movement. Sol Stern was arguing that it is going to be the next civil rights movement, but I couldn't find any local chapter or organization that gets people together to promote the cause.

They don't focus much on ballot initiatives because the teachers unions have a great deal of money to combat them. They focus on trying to get legislators to give voucher programs a trial.

It has been awhile since I read those books though, and the net may have some new resources that I haven't been checking in to.

I asked the mayor of my city directly if he supported vouchers. He said that he was all for them, but that he doesn't have any say over the school board. In the City of Cleveland the schools were so bad that they had to be taken over by an outside authority. In my town you would have to ask the school board to voluntarily give up their own power. Quite a proposition.


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4521411 - 08/11/05 10:33 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

And a voucher program for health insurance sounds interesting.


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OfflineTao
Village Genius

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4546595 - 08/17/05 02:19 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

JesusChrist said:
Post your speech!




Okay, but fair warning: It was limited to under 8 minutes and there were little structural and other requirements we had to put in that comes across as a bit awkward. Not my best work, but the teacher said his wife watched the video of it and though she's normally against privatisation, she said it was very convincing.






According to a 2004 report from the U.S. National Center of Education Statistics, entitled ?Characteristics of Private Schools in the United States?, the average tuition for private schools was under 47 hundred dollars. The average spent per student at public schools? Over 75 hundred. That expenditure, taking inflation into account, has been steadily increasing ever since the creation of the Federal Department of Education. In fact it has doubled over the past 40 years to where it now sits as the highest spending per student in the world. And yet, the test scores of our students continue to rank relatively low in comparison with the other industrialized nations.

A successful public education system is a vital concern for our future society, it can improve our economy, scientific progress, citizens' political knowledge, and help alleviate social problems such as unemployment, poverty, crime and drug addiction.

I am going to convince why you must support a publicly-funded, privately-run education system, so that when this issue comes up on a ballot, or in a late-night debate, you will support this cause and with it, our nation's educational future.

First I will explain the basic premise of an educational system based on School Choice. Then I will give some statistics which demonstrate the economic and academic advantages of a School Choice system. Then I will explain how school choice is also an issue about freedom. Finally, I will defend School Choice against some of its primary criticisms.

So....
To begin with, the basic idea behind school choice is that when you give students vouchers, and allow them to select which schools to use them at, schools will be forced to compete with each other in order to attract students and their vouchers. Just like in any free market, this competition will bring out the best possible service and value for customers, in this case, students.

As I mentioned before, the average price of private schools is actually less [GESTURE] than the price of public schools. We often have a misconception that private schools are all rich, elitist schools, when in reality these type of private schools are much more the exception than the rule. The truth is that School Choice will save us money.

Milton Friedman, who won the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economics, was a strong advocate of School Choice. In an article he wrote for the Washington Post on February 19th, 1995 entitled ?Public Schools: Make them Private?, he wrote that, quote, ?We know from the experience of every other industry how imaginative competitive free enterprise can be, what new products and services can be introduced, how driven it is to satisfy the customers--that is what we need in education. ?

But of course, dollars and cents are not our chief concern when talking about our educational system. Our chief concern is the quality of the education

In an article entitled ?Vouchers and Test Scores? in the January 1999 edition of Policy Review, the authors compared certain children who had been randomly-selected to attend private school, through a recently adopted School Choice policy in the district, with their previous classmates who had remained at the public school. Policy Review concluded that, simply put, ?Students attending private schools outperform their counterparts in public schools.? School Choice, will give our children a better education.

But the issue of school choice is not just about these hard statistics which tell us that private schools provide better services at a better price--School Choice is also about freedom.

Our government has laws to prevent businesses from seeking to establish monopolies. Yet, in terms of free education, public schools are a monopoly?and not a monopoly on some trivial consumer product, but on our children's education.

But it doesn't have to be this way, School Choice would give children the freedom to leave a bad school in favor a quality one. Like I said this is not just about dollars and cents. It is about the freedom for a child to get the best education that we can give them.

There is criticism of School Choice, but these criticisms are largely either unfounded, or can be accommodated for.

A common criticism is that allowing government-issued vouchers to be spent at religious schools is a violation of the separation between Church and State. However, according to present judicial interpretations, this is simply not true. School Choice does not establish one religion over another?which is what the 1st amendment forbids the government to do. For example we already give churches tax exempt status and other benefits, since no religion is favored over another.

Still, if allowing children to use vouchers at religious schools is not something you can accept, this can be adapted for in School Choice. For example, schools could be required to be secular in order to participate in the voucher system

Some opponents charge that School Choice is abandoning our public schools. But at what point do we say ?Enough is enough!? According to the 1995 Digest of Education Statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics, taking inflation into account, the U.S. spends 14 times more per student than it did 70 years ago.

We have given public schools their chance, yet they are still outperformed by less expensive private schools.

And it is not as if the moment School Choice legislation is signed, the next morning wrecking balls are going to be demolishing all public school property with the teachers still inside.
Public schools will be eligible to accept vouchers just like any private school. If it is unable to attract enough students for funding, the schools would likely be bought by private investors looking to turn the school around.

Finally, probably the most common attack on School Choice is that it will it segregate our schools.

Some say that it will segregate our schools by economic class. However, we do not currently see a glaring divide between classes in the U.S., even though wealthier families can send their children to private schools. Furthermore, we have to ask ourselves, if School Choice could allow poorer children to get a better education, is it our right to tell these children ?No, you're not allowed to leave your school to go to a better one??

Others say that this School Choice could racially divide our schools. However, such criticism flies in the face of empirical data. James Coleman in his book, ?Equality and Achievement in Education? he finds that although the public system as a whole is more diverse, on an individual school-by-school basis, private schools were more likely to have a more even distribution of races than individual public schools. In other words public schools were more likely to be virtually all white or virtually all black, while private schools tended to have more of an even mix.

Furthermore, a 1998 study by Jay Greene and Nicole Mellow entitled ?Integration Where it Counts?, found that students of different races were more likely to voluntarily interact?in such places as the lunchroom and playground?at private schools, than they were at public schools.

[PAUSE]

School Choice is good for citizens' tax dollars. School Choice is good for our children's education. School Choice is good for parents' freedom. When we look at the attacks against School Choice, we see that they either simply do not add up, or can be worked around.

This is why we must convert to a privately-run school system based on School Choice.




Those of you who have Conservative leanings, may very likely already support this, and I implore you to continue doing so. Myself, I am a Democrat, and to my fellow party members out there, I ask you to accept that just like our opposing party, we too, are driven by special interest groups. In this issue, we are being led astray by the Teachers Union, who understandably are looking out for their members' jobs. But for the sake of future generations, we cannot allow such misguided educational policies to continue.

So the next time you encounter a referendum on charter schools as Washington did just last year, or a debate with peers, support what is clearly the best action for this country's educational system: SCHOOL CHOICE.


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Magash's Grain Tek  + Tub-in-Tub Incubator + Magash's PMP + SBP Tek + Dunking = Practically all a newbie grower needs :thumbup:


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
Loc: Fractallife's gym
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Tao]
    #4547035 - 08/17/05 04:29 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Just breaking the stranglehold the teachers' union has on public education will go a long way towards improving schools. Ascension of teachers' unions/descension of school efffectiveness. Coincidence? I don't think so.


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Offlinecb9fl
Senior ChildMolestationExpert
Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 3,104
Loc: florida
Last seen: 8 years, 1 month
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: zappaisgod]
    #4547048 - 08/17/05 04:33 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)



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It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not. -Andre Gide

"Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives."


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Offlinezappaisgod
horrid asshole

Registered: 02/11/04
Posts: 81,741
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Last seen: 1 year, 3 months
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: cb9fl]
    #4547086 - 08/17/05 04:43 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

The connection is clear. We need more pirates


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 5 years, 14 days
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Tao]
    #4547096 - 08/17/05 04:46 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Thank you!

I thought it was a great speech. You touched on a great amount of points in a limited time. Educational choice should be one issue that unites people from both sides of the political spectrum. We should play politics when it comes to the education of our children. Thanks for posting it.


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Tastes just like chicken


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OfflineTao
Village Genius

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4548102 - 08/17/05 08:47 PM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Thanks for the kind words.


Yeah, it should unite both sides, but it rather just seems to be fought between the two extreme sides :shrug:

I wonder if this century could possibly see full on school choice.  For now, the baby step is setting up as many charter schools as possible to show people them doing better.  Unfortunately my impression is that charter schools still have government regulations strangling creativity in education.


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Magash's Grain Tek  + Tub-in-Tub Incubator + Magash's PMP + SBP Tek + Dunking = Practically all a newbie grower needs :thumbup:


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Tao]
    #4568922 - 08/23/05 01:23 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I was having a debate on vouchers on a local board I go to in my own city. I tried to adapt a post, sorry if it reads funny.

Public school teachers are twice as likely to send their own kids to private schools.

I live in an American city, in the downtown area. It is an urban school district and I have two young boys.

2/3rds of our public school teachers live outside the district. That means that only 33% can send their kids to the schools that they teach in. But of that remaining 33%, those people have one of the highest rates in the nation of public school teachers who send their kids to private schools.

I won't link to information on this, because I don't want to disclose my city on this message board for obvious reasons. But it looks like less than 15% of our inner city public school teachers choose to send their kids to city public schools. It isn't good enough for them, and it shouldn't be forced upon anyone.

Another interesting note is how property values change once you get out of the school district. In my city living right accross that line can almost double your property value. It is amazing.

The homes that are appreciating in my city are all outside the cities public school district. The homes inside the belt have been declining for decades. My parents home is on the market, and it is worth less now than it was in the 80's. The main reason is because of schools. If people buy that house, they know they will have to spend 10k a child to educate their children.

What happens to cities when all the middle class people move out in order to make sure their kids get a quality education? We are just left with the poor and the rich inside the city. Where are property values good in the city? The wealthy pockets. Those people have enough money for private schools, so public schools don't make much of a difference in property values.

Private school education is expensive.

Lets say you have two kids and you are paying $10,000 per kid and sending them off to private school. That is $20,000. Over 12 months that is $1,666.67 a month.

Lets say you applied for a mortage on a $285,000 house with an interest rate of 5.75%. The monthly payment would be $1,663.18 a month.

So what do you think people do, pay both the high city taxes to spend $16,000 for every student, then pay the additional 20k a year for their own kids, or simply drive 20 minutes and get another $285,000 of house.

If you bring vouchers into education, you would see an inflow of middle class citizens into the city. They would no longer have to leave for educational reasons.


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Offlinedaimyo
Monticello

Registered: 05/13/04
Posts: 7,751
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4568990 - 08/23/05 01:36 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I don't think vouchers are a good thing. If you allow all the kids from the public schools into the private schools, then you'll end up with the same shitty schools.

I feel that the main reason private schools seem better(around here anyhow) is because the students that attend them now have an entirely different attitude than the public school students.


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"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."


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OfflineProsgeopax
Jaded, yethopeful?

Registered: 01/28/05
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4569008 - 08/23/05 01:40 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

School vouchers = 'market' socialism.

From a practical point of view, the biggest problem with school vouchers is that there will be strings attached and you may find (I'm betting that you WILL find) that it will undermine the independence of private schools and entice them to dumb down their curriculum and include the same BS PC brainwashing that has infected the public schools.


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Money doesn't grow on trees, but deficits do grow under Bushes.

You can accept, reject, or examine and test any new idea that comes to you. The wise man chooses the third way.
- Tom Willhite

Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my opinions should I become aware of additional facts, the falsification of information or different perspectives. Articles written by others which I post may not necessarily reflect my opinions in part or in whole, my opinions may be in direct opposition, the topic may be one on which I have yet to formulate an opinion or have doubts about, an article may be posted solely with the intent to stimulate discussion or contemplation.


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
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Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #4569198 - 08/23/05 02:14 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Good point about that, and that is my biggest fear of voucher programs.

Any voucher program should have full autonomy.

The GI Bill was a voucher bill for the military enacted after WWII. GI's could spend their voucher at any college, and the government didn't force any college to change their admission policy or their curriculum. You could go to a seminary on the GI bill and study all you want to become a priest. The GI bill was a success by most every account. Any voucher program needs to imitate the GI Bill function of full autonomy.


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OfflineTao
Village Genius

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 7,935
Loc: San Diego
Last seen: 2 years, 3 months
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Prosgeopax]
    #4569208 - 08/23/05 02:17 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I haven't heard that term, and think its a bit of an exagerration to call having public education "socialism", but I bet the term describes my politics pretty well--to an extent at least.

Yeah, what you said is definately a problem with school vouchers. Do you have requirements to make sure no child (exluding some kids who keep getting expelled) is just not accepted into any of the schools? Or would you just trust that some school would eventually arise to pick up any stragglers and collect the voucher money.

And the big question of course is do you use taxpayer money to fund a kid taking classes about the teachings of the Bible/Koran (not in an objective manner)?


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OfflineJesusChrist
Son Of God
Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 1,459
Last seen: 5 years, 14 days
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: Tao]
    #4569293 - 08/23/05 02:51 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Tao said:

And the big question of course is do you use taxpayer money to fund a kid taking classes about the teachings of the Bible/Koran (not in an objective manner)?




That isn't a big question. You simply let them choose what is best for them. The GI Bill didn't question that. Check out how people rate the success of the GI Bill. Find out if it has any detractors and get back to me.

Free the people. Let them choose what is best for them. They know better than the government. Have faith in free men. Vouchers are about having faith in free men.


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Tastes just like chicken


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InvisibleLazlow
Sorcerer's Apprentice

Registered: 06/11/04
Posts: 41
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4569380 - 08/23/05 04:31 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

I agree. Vouchers are one of the few things I can think of with the possibility of enabling real change in the education system.

Something not mentioned is the effect vouchers could have on parents. They're often blamed for non-involvement, but what if they actually had a choice in which school their child attended? I think it'd increase parental involvement.

As for the public schools, I don't buy the argument that they'd just get worse. Isn't one critique of the public schools overcrowding? This would help that. In addition, I think the competition for students would lead to an improvement in public schools as well.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: JesusChrist]
    #4569959 - 08/23/05 11:10 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

This whole education debate is definately complicated and it is a serious problem. I feel as if education is necessary for a population to compete on the world stage. So, people in a society need to be educated. What is the best way to go about doing that? Do you have a completely socialist system (where the government taxes money from the populace and is in charge of public education)? Do you have a mixed system (some socialism and some privatization schemes such as vouchers)? Or do you have a complete free market free-for-all?

I worry about the poor not having the same educational opportunities as the more well off. Education is what can draw a person out of poverty. So, I view it as something that should be available to all people. If a person tries hard and does well, then great. If they fuck up and don't take advantage of it, then that is their fault.

Also, I have a big contradiction in my brain when it comes to education. I think that it is somewhat necessary for the government to do something to fund education, but not health care. This seems a tad bit weird if you think about it for a second. Health care seems as if it might be just as if not more important than education when it comes to a population's well-being.

I have genuine unease when it comes to the topic of income redistribution and excessive government control. Every nation that has engaged in these things seems to get more and more engaged in them as time goes on until there is a governmental or societal collapse.

This really is a pickle of a problem and the answer isn't easy.

I do know that if I have kids they will be sent to either a very good public school or a private school. There's no way in hell that they will go to some public school with metal detectors and a lackluster environment.


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
Stranger
Registered: 06/15/02
Posts: 15,608
Re: School Vouchers/Choice [Re: daimyo]
    #4569975 - 08/23/05 11:16 AM (12 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

daimyo said:
I feel that the main reason private schools seem better(around here anyhow) is because the students that attend them now have an entirely different attitude than the public school students.




That's a good point. The teacher's associations and the educational "experts" you see blathering on about what public education needs always mention more money, more teacher training, and more money.

Thinking back to my high school days, the real reason that kids didn't learn much wasn't because we had inadequate facilities, unqualified teachers, or substandard materials. It's because we didn't give a fuck.


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