Why are progressives against school vouchers..

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Wyldgusechaz, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    For low income children?

    I get the idea of no vouchers for middle class and above, because they can select the school they send their kids to by moving or paying out of pocket for education.

    South Carolina voted down SV's, perhaps in a state that still flies the confederate flag, motivated by a disguised racism. But I cannot see the logic in preventing a young family with not a lot of money but tremendous motivation to put their kids in the best school they can find by granting them $4500/child to find that school.

    There is a small private Christian ( I know you hate that word) school in SC run by a black woman that has her students scoring 400 points above the norm on standardized testing. Who gives a shit if the money goes to a religious entity if that entity develops such well educated kids?

    Without ranting can someone explain why this is such a hot button for progressives? What do I not see?
     
  2. Adrian69702006

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    Sadly I suspect education is as much a political football on your side of the pond as it is on ours and therein lies the problem. Here in the UK the present Government largely turns a blind eye to selection by postcode or religious affiliation but actively opposses the one form of selection that's worth having - by ability. I would be surprised if a similar thing was happening in the States.
     
  3. LeeEJ

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    It's the thought that vouchers take money, resources, and attention away from the schools that need the most help.

    Why reroute state & civil money to private schools when the original problems still need to be fixed?
     
  4. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    Vouchers are tax payer dollars. If you take tax payer dollars and funnel them into parochial schools, then the public schools that you are running away from are never going to get better. Futhermore, you are essentially using tax payer money to fund religious schools. My nephews are in parochial schools right now and they spend a lot more time learning about "God and Jesus" than anything else. You can't just say that all religious schools are going to produce better educated children, and there are certain qualities of education that aren't measurable on standardized tests. I was having an argument with someone I know the other day who was trying to say he was more educated than I was because he can quote more passages from the Qu'ran. I think it's pretty easily demonstrable that some 'education' is not worth as much as others.

    Anyway, without ranting, the very simple point is that a voucher plan uses tax payer dollars for non-public schools. A lot of people don't want to see that. There's your answer in two short sentences.

    Also, conservatives always *say* that they are just interested in getting the best education for their kids, but in general it is accepted that the *real* motivation behind this plan is to get the government to foot the bill for people who want to send their kids to Chrisitian schools where they'll be safe from that crazy bastion of liberalism that is American academia. When you think of it in these much more realistic terms, it's easier to understand why many people feel the government has no business at all doing this.
     
  5. dong20

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    There was a dubious flirtation with the concept by the Conservatives here but it was recently abandoned, at least for now. I hope the US sees sense and does the same. It would as effective as taking Aspirin to cure cancer.

    Tories ditch plan for education vouchers - Independent Online Edition > News
     
  6. Lex

    Lex
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    Also, please note that private schools can pick and choose who gains admittance and can selectively choose the composition of their student body.

    Moreover, private schools in MD run between $15,000-20,000 a year. So a $2000 voucher is not really doing anything but draining the public school funds. I mean, it COULD get you a parochial education (please see NIC_160's thoughts on funding Church-run schools).

    I would rather see money invested into improving public schools. Let's start with the physical conditions and plant. An un-airconditioned school building is much LESS comfortable that being outside for many students. How much do you learn if you sat in a 100 degree building with no breeze? Would you even want to be there? I wouldn't.

    My daughter hates the sun so much that she told me just yesterday that she sould rather go to school than to camp (Her school is climate-controlled).
     
  7. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    Talk about your Catch-22's.

    I can see 2 reasons for crappy school performance.

    1) The administrators and educators are trying hard ( my personal belief) but the demographics of the school districts is such that the pool of pupils is not education motivated. Trying to teach kids who don't give a shit about learning is the most thankless of tasks.

    2) The kids want to learn but the administrators and educators are shit. I find this more difficult to believe. I think most who go into education are highly motivated to do a good job.

    You MAY be able to fix #2 by targeting more resources toward it, but #1 is a bitch. If there are 32 kids in a class and 2 of them have parents who care and the other 30 are just killing time, and the 2 sets of parents don't have the money to move their kids to a better circimstance, then what do you do? Condemn those 2 to trying to learn in an unfavorable environment?

    BTW as a true fiscal conservative I am in no way in favor of a blanket voucher for ANYONE. Low income poverty level parents get my nod. Plus the idea of government money going to private enterprise is widely accepted, as long as it isn't education we are talking about so that is a bit of a strawman. Medicaid and welfare money goes to private business. Entitlement monies, SSI, government pension are spent in private business. The entitlee gets the dough and spends it wherever. They aren't required to spend it at a state/federal grocery store.
     
  8. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    That statement represents the great divide between schools of thought. That seems like an excuse for failure. Widespread AC is only about 50 years old. The Sunbelt, Arizona, Georgia, Florida have boomed only due to AC.

    How did kids learn pre AC? I never spent one day in an air conditioned school room and i have 22 years of education under my belt, the heat/smog of south central Los Angeles and the heat/humidity of Chicago. For 200 years kids have learned without AC in America. I am not saying it isn't better to have a nice room to learn in, but since millions of kids have learned in some pretty tough environments, that seems like a tiny part of the puzzle but progressives will seize on that sort of issue to mask the school failures. And I am just using AC as a symbol for all the perceived roadblocks that are produced to make it seem like unless kids have it PERFECT they can't learn. Bullocks I say.
     
  9. CUBE

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    God, I can't get away from this topic. It costs 2000 bucks to attend my fantasy school. Now you have been given a 2000 buck "slip" and you think you can attend my school. Guess what, I just raised the price to 3,000 bucks...so you still can't attend.
     
  10. dong20

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    As a % of global school populations I wonder how many students are in a A/C environment, I'd be amazed if it were more than a tiny fraction of 1%. In fairness I don't think Lex was using it as a cause for the decline of public education merely that [dis]comfort is part of a bigger picture.

    I agree it's far easier to blame a poor education on A,B or C (or A/C) as opposed to D - That I was a lazy git who couldn't be bothered. That's not to deny that there is a funding crisis in education and than it is having a real effect but there are also other wider, social factors at play.

    I found this while trying to look, so it's not a just a US centric argument:

    Schools losing their cool in battle for air-conditioning - National - www.smh.com.au

    My schools didn't have A/C but then I wasn't educated in an especially hot climate so there was really no need. But then when I was growing up most cars didn't either, now they almost all do so perhaps it is more about using it as an excuse based on other 'norms' than being a real factor, though in these days of climate change.....

    As DC_D has said, and I have agreed, to a huge degree how children turn out is largely in their parent's hands and in terms of education A/C in classrooms isn't going to resolve that issue, neither, on it's own is a huge cash injection.
     
  11. Lex

    Lex
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    I have worked in and visited schools that were so old and run down that rat shit fell from the ceiling tiles, the heat did not work in the winter, and AC was not available in the summer. I would not have left my cat in there, let alone my children.

    Widespread AC is newer--and a LOT of older schools are 100-75 years old or more. You need to go see these schools and note the conditions that the staff and student face.

    If you don't think that their is a correlation between comfort and performance, please do work from the comfort of your locked car with windows up in 80 degree heat.

    Conditions do not need to be perfect. They do need to be reasonable.
     
  12. kalipygian

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    The local moral majority preacher would think it was great if he could receive the taxes collected from gay people to to fund the teaching of homophobia to another generation. (He pays no taxes on his million dollar residence)
    A person who has learned from only one book is still ignorant.

    The contribution of federal tax money is small relative to that of local property taxes. In Alaska, there is not everywhere the equivalent of counties, they have not been organized in all areas, largely because there is very little tax base to support them in the areas of native villages, where there is little of a cash economy. The largest part of the cost of the rural schools is paid for at the state level.
     
  13. dong20

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    Rural school closures has been an issue in the UK for some time and I assume it's an issue in other countries also. Sometimes one or more small schools are 'amalgamated' sometimes they are simply closed and pupils must undertake a long journey to another, larger school which may be educationally substandard.

    It's just another side effect of the increasing urbanisation of western societies. The overall funding for education in the UK is central but responsibility for county or unitary authority funding is devolved.

    Individual schools can follow more than one funding model. This has been a source of division for some years where poorly performing schools are at risk of being caught in a downward spiral of poor performance>reduced funding>even poorer performance>closure.

    I don't know how many have desended to the state that Lex described but I know [too] many are in a very sorry state. Combined with the growth of faith schools, especially in large cities and the lottery system for allocating places based on preference etc it's hard to be optimistic for the future. When supermarkets have 'vouchers for computers and books' schemes then surely something is fundementally wrong.

    Add to this overall 'real money' spending cuts (despite what politicians say) which have lead to a decline in the standard of education establishments, the insane price of property [relatively] low pay is discouraging teachers from living in large cities like London where they are most needed.

    I think education 'vouchers' are a bad idea in principal for reasons already stated. But, if any parent wants to do the best for their child's education and this helps them achieve that end who has the right to deny them that. Like many things I don't think there's any black or white here just shades of grey.
     
  14. Freddie53

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    Things are relative. Children determine what is important by the amount of attention and money go into it. So when children go to church that is beautiful and comfortable and there houses are beautiful and comfortable and the country club is also upper crust material, the chidren determine that school must not be important since the buildings and supplies are in such horrid conditions.

    True there was no AC years ago. But older buildings were built with cross vintilation and high ceilings for the heat to rise. Newer buildings often don't have that and with only one or two small windows in the room, the school building is like a car in the sun the temperature rises quickly.

    Sure there are private schools that do quite well because they choose their students. I am a retired school teacher. With a class of 25 students, if I could have just selected five, any five I wanted to send to another classroom or school, my scores would be been at the top as well.

    In fact, to keep from hiring an additional teacher. I taught the top 12 fifth graders and the top 12 sixth graders in an public elementary. The scores were out of the roof. I had no discipline problems. But I got to pick the to top 12 out of about 60 kids in fifth grade and sixth grade. It is amazing what happens to scores when the school or teacher can manipulate who is in the classroom and who is not.

    And as has been stated, tax dollars don't need to be used to fund schools that are going to teach a certain political or religious agenda even one that teaches what I believe.

    IT IS SAD WHEN WE HAVE PUBLIC SCHOOL BUIDLINGS THAT DON'T MEET THE MINIMUM STANDARDS THAT THE PRISONS MUST HAVE. Many of our public schools simply are so shabby that they would have to be replaced or completely renovated for use by prisoners because it would be considered cruel and unusual punishment to make the prisoners stay in those school buildings.

    I know of a school that was so bad that they had five porta potties outside for 1000 students and teachers to share. The teachers went on strike, not for more money, but for better sanitary conditions in that high school. I'm gald that our state Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to send chidlren to such horrible buildings to spend a whole day inside, day after day.
     
  15. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    There are schools with no AC? Porta potties!? wow and I complained about the wads of toilet paper stuck to the roof of the bathrooms, and the uncomfortable seats...
     
  16. dong20

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    It's not sad it's a deplorable and shameful situation yet one pretty much entirely of y/our own making.

    And yet we consider ourselves, 'civilised'.

    What was the constitutional angle for the school, use of the 8th Amendment would suggest school is a crime?
     
  17. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    Then where the fuck is the money going?

    Charts-- 10 Facts About K-12 Education Funding

    I have no reason to doubt Lex or anyone as to the conditions of some schools. But it begs the question, who is responsible for what appears to be extravagant waste in public education?

    In real dollars adjusted for inflation public spending per pupil is way higher now. As a conservative I am quite willing to give Bush the boot now for a crappy job. Whose ass should be chewed out for wasting so much money and getting damn little in return for our education system.

    BTW I know no one here EVER reads links, but at least glance at the charts provided and please offer an opinion.
     
  18. LeeEJ

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    I don't think that there's anybody who went into education on a search for glory and a gold-bricked driveway at home.

    The same thing's been going on in the US, mainly in rural districts. Schools can't even get enough students in the building, so they have to consolidate.

    About school spending -- where is it going? I'll venture a guess: companies that are in any way related to education are trying to milk the government for as much as they can get. That's my guess because, if I used my government travel card to pay for my hotel room Saturday night, it would have cost eighty dollars more than it did out of my own pocket. I'd call that taxpayer subsidy of the hotel industry.
     
  19. dong20

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    That's interesting.

    Consider this, which is national education spending as a % of GDP. This may give a more realistic idea of how nations value education. For me ay least raw $/per student values don't mean much in isolation:

    NationMaster - Statistics > Education spending (% of GDP) by country

    and

    NationMaster - Statistics > Spending per secondary school student by country

    I love who's at #1 on the first link!!

    There's loads of other stats in there. Note the value differences between the $ per student values for the two sources. Damn statistics!!
     
  20. SpeedoGuy

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    Why are progressives against school vouchers? Perhaps because school vouchers are seen as just another selfish attempt by the upper economic classes to shirk their civic responsibility to fund public schools properly and equitably. Let them eat cake.
     
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