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ITR champion
11-28-2009, 11:33 PM
This thread continues a discussion from the recent thread about the ACLU, which unfortunately got buried under posts about the school prayer issue. The discussion in question was the claim, which I advanced, that forcing poor children to remain in public schools is particularly bad for black and Hispanic children. Two notes to clarify: I do not claim that all who oppose school vouchers are racist, only that the stance has unavoidable racist effects. Also, in this thread, "minority" will refer to races that are minorities in the USA, even if they aren't minorities in every part of the country.

In our K-12 education system, parents with sufficient wealth can send their kids to private school. Poorer parents cannot afford to, and thus must send their kids to public schools. Private schools deliver a much better education, and minorities are on average substantially poorer than whites. Hence our system leads to de facto racial segregation in many places.

Racial differences between whites and minorities are not subtle, especially in big cities. For example, just look at Washington D. C., and its notorious worst-in-the-nation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/09/AR2007060901415.html) school system. The public school student body is 96% minority and 4% white. (http://www.publicschoolreview.com/state_statistics/stateid/DC). By contrast, the city itself is 61% minority and 39% white. (http://www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/11000.html) Or similarly in Baltimore, the public school student body is 88% black (http://www.jbhe.com/vital/59_index.html) while the city is 32% white. (http://www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/24/24510.html) In these places nearly all the white people send their kids to private schools, while minority kids mainly get stuck in the public schools.

So with that established, what about results? Well, for minority students in big cities, public school education basically sucks. In New York City, for instance, only 44% of blacks and 39% of Hispanics (http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_26.htm) graduate from high school within 4 years of entering. Test scores also suck.Many areas of the City are virtual educational dead zones. Seven entire districts have fewer than 30 percent of students passing the city’s English exam, and fourteen have fewer than 30 percent of student passing the city’s Math exam. ... Some 345 schools have fewer than 30% of their students reading at acceptable levels. Most of these poorly performing schools are filled with low-income students from Black or Hispanic families.

So, is there an alternative? Indeed, both vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address the problem by giving a better education to poor, minority students. For example, multiple studies have shown that black students in charter schools on average see their scores rise faster and approach closer to the scores of white students than those black students in public schools. (See pages 2 and 3 of this report. (http://www.publiccharters.org/files/publications/NAPCS_ShadesofSuccessIB.pdf)) In New York City, Catholic schools outperform public schools. (See the report in the previous paragraph.) And in Florida, the state which undertook the strongest statewide effort to bring accountability and school choice statewide starting in 1998, performance by blacks and Hispanics soared upward (http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/downloadFile.do?id=387) over the next ten years.

So, to conclude, our current system discriminates against poor, black and Hispanic students. School vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address this problem. Yet many people continue to fight these solutions.

Sage Rat
11-28-2009, 11:52 PM
Having lived in Japan, I'm personally dubious that our species has yet been able to design a standardized test that effectively measures the quality of education. Learning to pass a test or even simply learning facts past reading, writing, and arithmetic is essentially pointless, but our current methods of testing make this useless labor the standard to try and achieve.

You would really need to run kids from both sets of schools past of panel of judges to rate how smart and knowledgeable they come across as. You would have to track them through their interests and personal specialties and how well they were doing within that scope. It's an interview, not a test.

Until we have something like that, the only real answer is smaller class sizes and greater freedom for the teachers to do their job as best they know how, at least past the 3rd or 4th grade. I think it could be safely said that that works. Whether anything else does is largely unknowable.

Bryan Ekers
11-29-2009, 12:49 AM
Looks to me the segregrating factor is wealth, not race, though I'll admit the two are correlated.

Diogenes the Cynic
11-29-2009, 01:01 AM
Vouchers are a scam to get poor people to pay for rich people's kids' private schools.

Odesio
11-29-2009, 01:22 AM
I don't think it's fair to blame America's school system for bringing back de-facto segregation. In Little Rock, Arkansas part of the problem is that white flight occurred in the 1970s and especially in the 1980s. The completion of highway 630 and a judge's order for 3 school districts in Pulaski County led to an increase in white students attending private schools and in families moving to the suburbs. Similar occurrences continue to happen in the wake of Brown vs. Board of Education.

Odesio

Dripping
11-29-2009, 01:32 AM
[QUOTE=ITR champion;11827792]The public school student body is 96% minority and 4% white. (http://www.publicschoolreview.com/state_statistics/stateid/DC).

Um, wouldn't that make the white people the "minority"?

brickbacon
11-29-2009, 01:32 AM
The discussion in question was the claim, which I advanced, that forcing poor children to remain in public schools is particularly bad for black and Hispanic children.

Perhaps, but charter schools or vouchers don't address segregation. In fact, this study on charter schools states that they often exacerbate (http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/3/9/5/0/pages239508/p239508-1.php) economic and racial segregation.

In our K-12 education system, parents with sufficient wealth can send their kids to private school. Poorer parents cannot afford to, and thus must send their kids to public schools. Private schools deliver a much better education, and minorities are on average substantially poorer than whites. Hence our system leads to de facto racial segregation in many places.

Well I would argue that years of de jure segregation, jim crow, and racism leads to de facto segregation. Also, charter schools and private schools are not better than public school across the board. The main problems are that public schools have to accept everyone, and are largely funded by property taxes and soft money contributions. Because of those two things, there are disparate results- not poor results across the board. For example, both MD and Northern VA have some of they best schools in the country (public or private), whereas DC has the worst. That isn't a matter of public vs. private.

Racial differences between whites and minorities are not subtle, especially in big cities. For example, just look at Washington D. C., and its notorious worst-in-the-nation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/09/AR2007060901415.html) school system. The public school student body is 96% minority and 4% white. (http://www.publicschoolreview.com/state_statistics/stateid/DC). By contrast, the city itself is 61% minority and 39% white. (http://www.fedstats.gov/qf/states/11000.html)

First, the percentage of non-Hispanic Whites is 32.5%. Second, those numbers don't tell us anything about the demographics of school-age children. As someone who lives in DC, I can tell you that there are a large number of White residents going to colleges here in DC (Catholic, American, Georgetown, GW, Johns Hopkins, etc.) that may throw off the numbers.

Aside from that, I don't see why you think any of that would change if there were more charter schools. Do you think rich people will suddenly decide not to send their kids to Sidwell Friends, et. al.?

The other problem is that you are not taking into account the fact that many rich people in DC, or other cities, only live there because they can afford to insulate themselves from the negative aspects of city life. For all intents and purposes, they don't really count in discussion like this, since they will never send their kids to public schools, or heavily Black or Hispanic schools no matter the quality.

So, is there an alternative? Indeed, both vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address the problem by giving a better education to poor, minority students.

No they haven't. We can go cite for cite all day. See here (http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/05/are_charter_schools_better_tha.html), here (http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2009/06/17/charter-schools-might-not-be-better.html), and here (http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2009/10/public-schools-better-than-charters.html). And that is with the added selection bias Charter schools enjoy since uneducated parents who are ignorant of the educational opportunities available to their children don't even apply to charter schools.

Furthermore, charter schools are problematic because the market has winners and losers. Terrible public schools are awful, but they usually provide some stable resources for diligent, motivated students to make the best of a bad situations. Charter schools often just close (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/16/AR2006081601521.html) down (http://www.uscharterschools.org/cs/dia/view/dm/1203) (about 9% do according to that last link). That's a lot of displaced students and wasted tax-payer money.

So, to conclude, our current system discriminates against poor, black and Hispanic students. School vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address this problem. Yet many people continue to fight these solutions.

They "fight" your "solutions" because they have not been proven to work any better, they disrupt the status quo which works quite well for the majority of students, and strip the last remaining shreds of dignity from the teaching profession. The ulterior motive here is always to break the unions, make rigid guidelines for teachers, lower pay, and fire everyone who doesn't fall in line.

It's basically the Walmart problem. Walmart is an admirable and well-designed company in many ways. They revolutionized the field, have lowered prices for consumers, and forced suppliers to tighten up and trim the fat. However, they also treat their workers poorly (many are on public assistance), squeeze suppliers till they break, outsource jobs, destroy local businesses, and create a paradox of choice which leads to cheap, disposable, cookie cutter goods sold to you at the lowest direct cost possible. If you want to take this idea of charter schools and vouchers to its logical conclusion, ask yourself whether Walmart would create good schools. Would they be better than some public school? Of course, but as a matter of public policy, I think it would be terribly foolish to champion this notion that the Walmart-created schools are more effective by their nature.

Our system of educations is similar to healthcare in many senses. High highs, low lows, a basic, yet inefficient safety net for all, and rationing based on income. As with healthcare, too many people think the market will fix everything when history and commonsense dictate otherwise. Particularly in education where social norms predominate. I'm not saying charter schools are always bad, or are always ineffective, but they aren't a panacea either.

gonzomax
11-29-2009, 11:57 AM
The rich are separated from the poor in every way. They go to fancy pre schools, then go to fancy and safe grade schools and well equipped high schools. They go to excellent colleges after being prepared for years.
They live apart, go to different restaurants, health clubs etc. The separation of the rich and poor is clear and distinct. They have less and less in common every year. What laws were unable to do in the past, financial inequality has succeeded in doing today.

Blalron
11-29-2009, 12:01 PM
I'm willing to support vouchers for private schools under the following conditions:

All schools accepting public money must have no prayer or religious instruction of any kind.

They have to accept every student who applies (no cherry picking just the "good" ones), and expulsion from the school has to follow the same strict due process as is required of public schools.

Bear_Nenno
11-29-2009, 12:10 PM
Private schools appear to provide a better education simply because parents who would send their kids to a private school--and pay more money to do so--are much more likely to be the kinds of parents who are more involved or at least concerned with their child's education.
Students in public schools who have parents involved in their education and concerned with their performance do well and score higher than those who don't. Unfortunately, a public school's test results are an average of all kinds of students, not just good ones with involved parents.

Many poor parents who receive these vouchers are going to be the same, uninvolved, parents they were before. They will continue to assume the school should be doing all the work. After enough time, private schools will begin to show poorer average test results and acedemic achievement from its students.

It's not an issue of money or race or school. The issue is parents not taking a vested interest in the education of their children, not being involved enough at home, and then blaming the "public school system" for their child's shortcomings.

smiling bandit
11-29-2009, 12:30 PM
Bear Nenno gets it in one.

I still support Vouchers, because I think it's an extremely rational form of doing the work. It enables people to shift schools for whatever reason they wish, acing essentially as an easy and small market economy. Good schools (that is, who are genuinely good, not simply filled with good students) will tend to attract more. Bad ones will tend to be bled dry over time.

And that's a good ting. Frankly, most of the really bad schools are not bad becaue they have terrible students, but because they're stuffed with bad teachers, in bad neighborhoods, with a bad environment. Removing students from it is probably a good things, since it permits the school boards to see the problem in very clear numerical terms, and address it. Even before that, the school may finally get its act together.

I don't think this should be simply plopped down. It needs to be supported by less restrictive teacher's union protection (tenure). That said, I don't think principals or school bureaucracy should be the ones doing the firing.

ITR champion
11-29-2009, 02:13 PM
Private schools appear to provide a better education simply because parents who would send their kids to a private school--and pay more money to do so--are much more likely to be the kinds of parents who are more involved or at least concerned with their child's education.
Students in public schools who have parents involved in their education and concerned with their performance do well and score higher than those who don't. Unfortunately, a public school's test results are an average of all kinds of students, not just good ones with involved parents.
This is untrue and has been shown to be untrue in many studies. From here, for instance: (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0377/is_n127/ai_19416359/)

"They examined achievement test data and concluded that students in Catholic schools learn more than students in public schools. Moreover, Coleman rejected the claim that Catholic school students perform better on achievement tests simply because they are more talented or come from better families. He argued that the achievement differences between public and Catholic school students are, in significant measure, attributable to the different schools they attend."

and

"Taken as a whole, Coleman's work, and subsequent research by other scholars, indicates that, on average, Catholic high-school students learn more than public-school students of similar backgrounds and ability levels. It was also found that Catholic schooling lowers high-school dropout rates."

Later in the article they also discuss research that specifically looked at minority students in inner-city areas, and showed that Catholic schools outperform public schools in those areas as well. Since the report was commissioned by the Department of Education, it's certainly not biased against public schools.

Many poor parents who receive these vouchers are going to be the same, uninvolved, parents they were before. They will continue to assume the school should be doing all the work. After enough time, private schools will begin to show poorer average test results and acedemic achievement from its students.
And where's the cite for this? After all, voucher programs have existed in over a dozen states, sometimes for many years. Look at the link in my OP about the performance of students and especially minority students in Florida schools after the ambitious reforms of 1998. How does your theory account for that?

It's not an issue of money or race or school. The issue is parents not taking a vested interest in the education of their children, not being involved enough at home, and then blaming the "public school system" for their child's shortcomings.
What evidence would convince you that private schools perform better than public schools? Or, as a 15-year-old skeptic would say, what makes your hypothesis falsifiable?

ITR champion
11-29-2009, 02:23 PM
Vouchers are a scam to get poor people to pay for rich people's kids' private schools.
Let's see: a one-sentence post with no facts and no cites. It must be the return of Diogenes the Cynic.

Your claims are flatly untrue. Here's a list of voucher programs (http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/newsroom/ShowProgram.do), and you can click on each one to see the criteria for eligibility. Once you do so, you'll see that most are available only to the poor. The D.C. program was open only to kids in families below the poverty line, the Milwaukee program for families below 175% of the poverty line and so forth. In other states like Florida and Ohio, the vouchers were restricted to kids in failing schools, and needless to say failing schools are almost always in poor areas. So, in short, your claim that vouchers pay for "rich people's kids' private schools" is the exact, polar opposite of the truth.

Diogenes the Cynic
11-29-2009, 02:32 PM
I'm willing to support vouchers for private schools under the following conditions:

All schools accepting public money must have no prayer or religious instruction of any kind.

They have to accept every student who applies (no cherry picking just the "good" ones), and expulsion from the school has to follow the same strict due process as is required of public schools.
Add a little means testing to insure that only households making less than a certain amount (say $200K a year) are eligible, and I'll go along, even though corporate welfare still makes me queasy.


ITR, you would agree that religious schools should not be eligible to receive public money, do you not?

If you do agree, then where are all these secular private schools that are going to be able to take in millions of kids from public schools.

ITR champion
11-29-2009, 02:37 PM
Having lived in Japan, I'm personally dubious that our species has yet been able to design a standardized test that effectively measures the quality of education. Learning to pass a test or even simply learning facts past reading, writing, and arithmetic is essentially pointless, but our current methods of testing make this useless labor the standard to try and achieve.

You would really need to run kids from both sets of schools past of panel of judges to rate how smart and knowledgeable they come across as. You would have to track them through their interests and personal specialties and how well they were doing within that scope. It's an interview, not a test.
I've got good news. In this country we do exactly that. We have panels of judges whose job it is to carefully evaluate tens of thousands of high school students on the basis of academics, extracurricular activities, personality, and many other measures, then combine the results into a general assessment of each student. These panels are called the admissions departments at colleges and universities, and they take a larger percentage (http://www.capenet.org/Outlook/Out9-01.html#Story2) of private school students than public school students. Nor is it true only for the university system as a whole. Go to any top university and you'll find that their entering class has a disproportionate number of private school students.

(I do generally agree that our system places far too much emphasis on standardized tests and too little on everything else. But whose fault is that? It's the fault of politicians who are in charge of public schools. What's the solution? Put in kids in private schools where politicians aren't in charge.)

gonzomax
11-29-2009, 02:45 PM
Private schools appear to provide a better education simply because parents who would send their kids to a private school--and pay more money to do so--are much more likely to be the kinds of parents who are more involved or at least concerned with their child's education.
Students in public schools who have parents involved in their education and concerned with their performance do well and score higher than those who don't. Unfortunately, a public school's test results are an average of all kinds of students, not just good ones with involved parents.

Many poor parents who receive these vouchers are going to be the same, uninvolved, parents they were before. They will continue to assume the school should be doing all the work. After enough time, private schools will begin to show poorer average test results and acedemic achievement from its students.

It's not an issue of money or race or school. The issue is parents not taking a vested interest in the education of their children, not being involved enough at home, and then blaming the "public school system" for their child's shortcomings.

If you are an intercity kid, it would be delusional to think you can be part of the ever narrowing American dream. They know where they are born and raised has made them expendable. The system will do all it can to keep them separated from those who matter. It will happen ,rarely, that a person will escape. It will be pointed out to the kids, that it is possible. Except they know better. They are doomed to a difficult and dangerous life because of where they were born. We have exported the jobs they had a chance to get. They will have to live by exploiting each other , selling drugs , robbing each other or fast food. Government assistance is something to aspire to.The opportunities in their neighborhoods are long gone.

Horatio Hellpop
11-29-2009, 03:22 PM
I'm willing to support vouchers for private schools under the following conditions:

All schools accepting public money must have no prayer or religious instruction of any kind.


Your heart's in the right place, but having gone from Catholic to public schools as a kid, I can tell you first-hand that parochial schools teach the 3 R's, especially writing, very very well. Nuns with rulers impart this knowledge well enough that I'm willing to overlook the religious content in the context of vouchers. I don't believe that Protestant Bible schools or Madrassas can make this claim (although yeshivas likely can).

ITR champion
11-29-2009, 03:24 PM
No they haven't. We can go cite for cite all day. See here (http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2009/05/are_charter_schools_better_tha.html), here (http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2009/06/17/charter-schools-might-not-be-better.html), and here (http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/2009/10/public-schools-better-than-charters.html). And that is with the added selection bias Charter schools enjoy since uneducated parents who are ignorant of the educational opportunities available to their children don't even apply to charter schools.
If Charter schools are succeeding in cities like Boston (http://www.tbf.org/utilitynavigation/multimedialibrary/newsdetail.aspx?id=9490) and Washington (http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/09.23/09-charterschools.html), then they at least hold the possibility of improved education for inner-city kids. If charters are performing only the same as public schools in other cities, then the logical thing to do would be to study the differences and find why some charters succeed and others fail. Bluntly, we've been trying to fix public schools in big cities for a long time and absolutely nothing has worked. As the report (http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_26.htm) about New York City's schools makes clear, performance by many measures has stayed flat in the city's bad schools for years, despite increased spending, new strategies, and federal intervention.

They "fight" your "solutions" because they have not been proven to work any better, they disrupt the status quo which works quite well for the majority of students, and strip the last remaining shreds of dignity from the teaching profession. The ulterior motive here is always to break the unions, make rigid guidelines for teachers, lower pay, and fire everyone who doesn't fall in line.

It's basically the Walmart problem.
As a private school teacher, I see it mostly the other way around. My pay is not bad. The stereotype of private school teachers getting paid chickenfeed is out of date. Salaries have been moving up lately, getting close to and sometimes passing public school salaries. As for "rigid guidleines", isn't that one of the big problems with public schools? Public school teachers have rigid guidelines for many things, from what materials they use to how many hours they spend on professional development. Worse, these rules are made by politicians, and politicians care more about looking good than doing good. In my school, by contrast, the Head of School makes these decisions, and she's willing to listen to our opinions and be flexible about most things.

As for "the Walmart problem", it really isn't because contrary to what some people seem to think, not just anyone can open a private school. You have to be accredited by the Board of Independent Schools; every state has one.

Nobody
11-29-2009, 03:35 PM
Parents sending their kids to religious schools using vouchers is perfectly constitutional - site (http://edition.cnn.com/2002/LAW/06/27/scotus.school.vouchers/index.html)

ITR champion
11-29-2009, 03:49 PM
ITR, you would agree that religious schools should not be eligible to receive public money, do you not?
Parents sending their kids to religious schools using vouchers is perfectly constitutional - site
I much prefer this particular cite (http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/constitution/text.html), but that's a matter of opinion. Religious schools are allowed to receive public money. They receive money through vouchers in some states and cities. They also receive grants for things such as energy efficiency from any number of government programs, and they participate in the free school lunch program for poor children, and so forth. Religious schools at the university receive all kinds of public money and even the ACLU doesn't try to block that.

That's not the point, though. The main point is that private schools--religious and otherwise--work. They deliver a better education than public schools, and I want all kids, including poor kids and minorities, to have the best possible education. So therefore I logically cannot agree that religious schools should not be eligible to receive public money.

Nobody
11-29-2009, 03:54 PM
I much prefer this particular cite (http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/constitution/text.html), but that's a matter of opinion. Religious schools are allowed to receive public money. They receive money through vouchers in some states and cities. They also receive grants for things such as energy efficiency from any number of government programs, and they participate in the free school lunch program for poor children, and so forth. Religious schools at the university receive all kinds of public money and even the ACLU doesn't try to block that.

That's not the point, though. The main point is that private schools--religious and otherwise--work. They deliver a better education than public schools, and I want all kids, including poor kids and minorities, to have the best possible education. So therefore I logically cannot agree that religious schools should not be eligible to receive public money.
I just posted that for people raising a "separation of church and state" argument.

I love the idea of vouchers and would like to see them more widespread. I also think that there should be some means testing so that people who can afford to send their child or children to a private school without government assistance shouldn't get such assistance.

gonzomax
11-29-2009, 04:58 PM
Vouchers are not sufficient to pay for private schools. They just help out those who are sending their kids any way. To change things vouchers would have to cover the cost of better schools. There is no effort to do that. So schools will get even more separated. The schools of the poor will become less attractive and less competitive. The separation of the rich and poor will be complete.
A 4, 000 dollar voucher will not pay 20,000 dollars of tuition. It will just help those at the edge. It will give a few more bucks to the rich who will send their kids to good ,expensive schools anyway.

independentminded
11-29-2009, 05:05 PM
Segregation here in the United States has taken at least two major forms over the years, neither of which are countenanceable, defensible, or excusable. However, in order to understand how and why things became so explosive when policies such as various mandatory school busing edicts were applied to the North in the same fashion as they were applied in the South, it's important to be aware of the differences between the two forms of segregation and how and why they came about. Both of the above-mentioned terms are self-explanatory, but here goes:

Segregation de Jure, or Jim Crow, as it came to be called, was officially implemented in the South as a means of limiting contact between the races, despite the fact that in many, if not most Southern districts, whites and blacks had lived side by side since antebellum (pre-Civil War) days. Inotherwards, schools, libraries, movie theatres, swimming pools, etc., were segregated by law.

Segregation de Facto, the Northern form of segregation, on the other hand, although not official, was much more pernicious. Segregation de Facto meant that things were/are still segregated for a fact; Inotherwords, since neighborhoods were/are segregated, so were/are the schools. This type of segregation, although it wasn't legal, has proved to be far more deep-seated and therefore much more difficult to root out and get rid of than the Segregation de Jure which existed in the South for the longest time, and helps explain why many of the Northern metropolises, including and particularly Boston, experienced much racial turmoil and upheaval which rivaled that of many of the Southern areas when large-scale mandatory school busing edicts were applied to many, if not Northern metropolises. Hostile school committee and/or City Council membors in many Northern cities, including and especially Boston, made already-bad situations far worse by riding on the coattails of white working-class frustrations along the lines of race and socioeconomic class and effectively coached much of the white working class in many of the Northern metropolises into belligerence and resistance.

I believe that the way in which to really root out and get rid of de facto segregation is to work with the variouis institutions (i. e. the banks and real estate agents, etc. ) that made this especially pernicious form of segregation possible.

Diogenes the Cynic
11-29-2009, 05:05 PM
I much prefer this particular cite (http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/constitution/text.html), but that's a matter of opinion. Religious schools are allowed to receive public money. They receive money through vouchers in some states and cities. They also receive grants for things such as energy efficiency from any number of government programs, and they participate in the free school lunch program for poor children, and so forth. Religious schools at the university receive all kinds of public money and even the ACLU doesn't try to block that.

That's not the point, though. The main point is that private schools--religious and otherwise--work. They deliver a better education than public schools, and I want all kids, including poor kids and minorities, to have the best possible education. So therefore I logically cannot agree that religious schools should not be eligible to receive public money.would it be ok to use vouchers for madrassas?

MsRobyn
11-29-2009, 05:06 PM
I much prefer this particular cite (http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/freedom/constitution/text.html), but that's a matter of opinion. Religious schools are allowed to receive public money. They receive money through vouchers in some states and cities. They also receive grants for things such as energy efficiency from any number of government programs, and they participate in the free school lunch program for poor children, and so forth. Religious schools at the university receive all kinds of public money and even the ACLU doesn't try to block that.

That's not the point, though. The main point is that private schools--religious and otherwise--work. They deliver a better education than public schools, and I want all kids, including poor kids and minorities, to have the best possible education. So therefore I logically cannot agree that religious schools should not be eligible to receive public money.

Parochial schools are allowed to receive government money and participate in government programs as long as the money they receive does not advance the school's religious mission. (See Everson v. Board of Education (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education) for more information.) For example, participation in energy-efficiency and free-lunch programs has nothing at all to do with religion, so the government allows that. On the other hand, government money cannot be used to provide religious instruction. For example, a Catholic school can accept government money to teach science or math classes because those classes are secular, but it cannot use that money to pay the teacher who teaches Catholic doctrine. In fact, one of my classmates currently teaches at a Catholic high school. She said that the religion teachers are paid from a separate account in order to keep the monies separate for accounting purposes.

That being said, parochial schools are not always better than secular schools. There are many that don't teach higher-level thinking skills; they teach rote memorization from workbooks such that "progress" is measured by how fast a student completes each set of workbooks. There are also those that teach everything from the perspective of the religion that sponsors it; science, for example, is taught from the creationist perspective and the only literature that is taught is the Bible. That's not education, that's indoctrination. The University of California at Berkeley and US District Judge James Otero (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/12/BAQT129NMG.DTL) agree with me.

Sage Rat
11-29-2009, 05:16 PM
I've got good news. In this country we do exactly that. We have panels of judges whose job it is to carefully evaluate tens of thousands of high school students on the basis of academics, extracurricular activities, personality, and many other measures, then combine the results into a general assessment of each student. These panels are called the admissions departments at colleges and universities, and they take a larger percentage (http://www.capenet.org/Outlook/Out9-01.html#Story2) of private school students than public school students. Nor is it true only for the university system as a whole. Go to any top university and you'll find that their entering class has a disproportionate number of private school students.

(I do generally agree that our system places far too much emphasis on standardized tests and too little on everything else. But whose fault is that? It's the fault of politicians who are in charge of public schools. What's the solution? Put in kids in private schools where politicians aren't in charge.)

Interestingly, I think you'll find that the highest number of people in college (as a comparison with the general population) is Jews. Jews are also generally more influential (i.e. possessing of money) than any other group.

Should I take this as proof that Judaism and Jewish schools are the best answer for everyone, or should I interpret it as meaning that having money is a large factor?

Chronos
11-29-2009, 05:34 PM
This [Bear Nenno's argument that parental involvement is the key factor] is untrue and has been shown to be untrue in many studies. From here, for instance:

"They examined achievement test data and concluded that students in Catholic schools learn more than students in public schools. Moreover, Coleman rejected the claim that Catholic school students perform better on achievement tests simply because they are more talented or come from better families. He argued that the achievement differences between public and Catholic school students are, in significant measure, attributable to the different schools they attend."
As it stands, this is just an appeal to authority. Where are the numbers that lead Coleman to this conclusion? And how significant is this measure, relative to the effect from the parents? Is there any control for the nonlinearity of the effect, that is to say, the possibility that a school is better for any given student due to the collective involvement of the entire parent body?

athelas
11-29-2009, 05:38 PM
This phenomenon can be explained with three uncontroversial facts.

1. IQ is highly correlated (http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/merrill-palmer_quarterly/v047/47.1sternberg.html) with career success and earnings.
2. IQ is highly heritable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heritability_of_IQ). Smart parents produce smart(er than average) kids.
3. With the entry of women into the workplace, assortative mating (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assortative_mating) is on the rise. Whereas a manager might have previously married his secretary, he is now more likely to marry his professional equal.

Given point 1, assortative mating means that smart people are increasingly marrying smart people, and are earning more. Point 2 implies that they are going to have smarter kids.

Taken together, these facts imply that with time, the genetically smart will become rich, and the genetically stupid will become poor. This can explain a lot of the variance in who goes to costly public schools versus private ones. Although this sorting is not a perfect system - connections, loopholes, and underhanded deals aren't going away anytime soon - two generations seem to have been sufficient for this sorting process to produce statistically significant results.

Now, to make a testable prediction: if my hypothesis is correct, the class difference in achievement-test scores will widen with time, providing that the tests are not "corrected" to cover such discrepancies. And ironically, in an intelligence-based meritocracy - what many classical liberals would consider an ideal state - it is an inevitable outcome. It is not necessarily a pleasant one - it may mean, for example, a permanent underclass that can't succeed despite any outside efforts. But just because it may make us squeamish doesn't mean it's not true.

Gary Baldy
11-29-2009, 05:40 PM
Interestingly, I think you'll find that the highest number of people in college (as a comparison with the general population) is Jews. Jews are also generally more influential (i.e. possessing of money) than any other group.

Should I take this as proof that Judaism and Jewish schools are the best answer for everyone, or should I interpret it as meaning that having money is a large factor?

Well, I've heard several stories that Jews were sent to Catholic schools.

Sage Rat
11-29-2009, 05:45 PM
Well, I've heard several stories that Jews were sent to Catholic schools.
But really that would still simply be saying that affluent schools are better than poor schools. That's not really an impressive bit of knowledge, nor does it really help poor kids in any way.

alphaboi867
11-29-2009, 06:41 PM
...Nuns with rulers impart this knowledge well enough that I'm willing to overlook the religious content in the context of vouchers. I don't believe that Protestant Bible schools or Madrassas can make this claim (although yeshivas likely can).

One of the biggest problems (if not the biggest) facing parochial schools nowdays is the clerical shortage. The reason why parochial schools were the most affordable private schools (& could offer education to the working classes) was because they had access to Sisters and Brothers who, having taken vows of poverty, tought children essentialy for free because that was their vocation. Nowdays parochial schools have to rely on the laity to provide teachers & administrators and pay them accordingly. Laypeople cost alot more money, especially when they marry and have children.

And while parochial schools can be much more accommodating to secular or non-Catholic students they still require deference to the schools religious ethos. Many parochial schools will require teachers (& administrators) to be Roman Catholics. Even the ones employ non-Catholics expect them to adhere to certain values. Ie no unmarried couples cohabitating, no divorcees, no homosexuals, etc. Why should I be OK with my tax dollars going to an institution that refuses to emply me because I'm gay (& not celibate & closeted). It's bad enough that the military does. Even if students aren't forced to pray (or take RE) they still face restictions that don't fly in public schools. How many parochial schools can really claims they don't discriminate against gay & lesbian students? Sure they'll enroll Johnny, tone down the anti-gay stuff to the level of "sex is only approriate between a man and a woman joined in wedlock", but what happens when Johnny shows up a school dance with Kevin?

ralph124c
11-29-2009, 07:21 PM
This is more correct. the fact is, America's rich have een segregation themselves from the poor, ever since time began. This extends to education. the solution? Force rich suburbes to accept students from poor city neighborhoods.
that will be about as successful as busing to achive a "racial balance".:eek:

brickbacon
11-29-2009, 08:42 PM
If Charter schools are succeeding in cities like Boston (http://www.tbf.org/utilitynavigation/multimedialibrary/newsdetail.aspx?id=9490) and Washington (http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/09.23/09-charterschools.html), then they at least hold the possibility of improved education for inner-city kids.

But they are not succeeding as a general proposition in those places. Again, I am intimately aware of the situation that exists in many DC schools (both charter, public, and private). The problems in DC are far broader than just that. You are also not accounting for the fact that Charter schools generally admit only those motivated enough to apply.

If charters are performing only the same as public schools in other cities, then the logical thing to do would be to study the differences and find why some charters succeed and others fail.

But you discount the fact that if charter schools are performing the same overall, that means that several schools will be closed. Failure and experimentation are fine when we are talking about yogurt or tennis shoes, it's more problematic when it involves kids' lives. Particularly when the opening of future charter schools can potentially gut an existing public school.

Bluntly, we've been trying to fix public schools in big cities for a long time and absolutely nothing has worked. As the report (http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_26.htm) about New York City's schools makes clear, performance by many measures has stayed flat in the city's bad schools for years, despite increased spending, new strategies, and federal intervention.

I would argue that we have not actually tried to fix public schools in big cities. We have thrown money at the problem, and made vague gestures about reform, but we haven't really fixed the underlying problems. We've let drugs and crime destroy cities, allowed jobs to leave in droves, and ignored the deleterious and caustic cultural shifts that have resulted in decaying cities.

As a private school teacher, I see it mostly the other way around. My pay is not bad. The stereotype of private school teachers getting paid chickenfeed is out of date. Salaries have been moving up lately, getting close to and sometimes passing public school salaries.

But public school salaries are too low in many cases.

As for "rigid guidleines", isn't that one of the big problems with public schools? Public school teachers have rigid guidelines for many things, from what materials they use to how many hours they spend on professional development. Worse, these rules are made by politicians, and politicians care more about looking good than doing good. In my school, by contrast, the Head of School makes these decisions, and she's willing to listen to our opinions and be flexible about most things.

But large efficient private business models are a usually rigid, top-down structures. Do you think Walmart gives their clerks or greeters any substantive input in how things are run?

As for "the Walmart problem", it really isn't because contrary to what some people seem to think, not just anyone can open a private school. You have to be accredited by the Board of Independent Schools; every state has one.

So what. Why do you think a Walmart-type entity would not be able to become accredited? Again, I'm sure their schools would be better than many that exist now, but it would be a bad public policy decision to allow them to run things. But, you didn't answer my question. Would it be good if Walmart ran all the schools in, say Washington DC? What do you think would happen to unions, teacher salaries, etc.?

What do you think makes Charter schools and vouchers better in the first place? What can they do that public schools are unable to do, and are those good things?

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
11-30-2009, 02:06 AM
I do not understand why vouchers are hailed as this wonderful pancea.
Why not have government controled schools...........but offer a variety of teaching and learning approaches? THAT would boost acheivement levels HUGELY! The problem right now is that we have too much of a " one size fits all" mentality when it comes to what will work regarding teaching methodologies. Maybe too what would help more is making sure that kids with disabilites aren't kneejerk mainstreamed. Mainstreaming would still be an option yes......but it wouldn't be automatic.
That in turn would have test scores rise b/c nondisabled kids would be taught by teachers who KNOW how to teach disabled kids....that in turn would cut down disruptions by disabled kids a lot (and a lot of special needs kids act out b/c they're so frustrated abt not being able to access the curriculum or not being able to be a part of a community)

Lynn Bodoni
11-30-2009, 09:18 AM
I'm willing to support vouchers for private schools under the following conditions:

All schools accepting public money must have no prayer or religious instruction of any kind.

They have to accept every student who applies (no cherry picking just the "good" ones), and expulsion from the school has to follow the same strict due process as is required of public schools. I can get behind this, but I don't think it goes far enough. Charter schools which accept vouchers must accept vouchers as the whole payment. And charter schools which accept vouchers must offer the same services for special needs kids as public schools do. This means special ed for the dyslexics, signers for the deaf kids, teaching English to kids who speak another language at home, attempting to educate the mentally challenged to the extent of their abilities, etc.

When charter schools do a better job than public schools, I think it's mostly due to the fact that they can cherry pick their students. I'm 52, and I can clearly remember many kids from the elementary, middle, and high schools who were extremely disruptive, had no intention of learning, and dragged down the class average. Had the schools I attended been able to kick these kids out, then of course the schools could have shown a better success rate. But public schooling is PUBLIC, and must accept just about every kid.

Paul in Qatar
11-30-2009, 10:10 AM
I like the idea of school vouchers, but when I do the math on the back of an envelope, it seems a voucher system takes money out of education.

Now, the rich guy pays a school tax and he pays for his kid's fancy private school. We are screwing the rich guy who gets nothing for his tax dollar. Under a voucher program, the poor person and the rich person both get vouchers, so the system is helping the rich guy with school costs. Income from taxes remain the same, but expenses increase.

Am I wrong on this?

Caffeine.addict
11-30-2009, 11:05 AM
But they are not succeeding as a general proposition in those places. Again, I am intimately aware of the situation that exists in many DC schools (both charter, public, and private). The problems in DC are far broader than just that. You are also not accounting for the fact that Charter schools generally admit only those motivated enough to apply.


Additionally, a lot of middle class whites in the District move to the suburbs when they have kids, or when their kids are school age. Just as an anecdote, I've seen a few neighbors move to Montgomery County either when their kids turn three or when they decide to have them. I've also seen quite a few middle class blacks move to the suburbs when their kids hit a certain age as well.

Damuri Ajashi
11-30-2009, 02:16 PM
So, is there an alternative? Indeed, both vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address the problem by giving a better education to poor, minority students. For example, multiple studies have shown that black students in charter schools on average see their scores rise faster and approach closer to the scores of white students than those black students in public schools.

So, to conclude, our current system discriminates against poor, black and Hispanic students. School vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address this problem. Yet many people continue to fight these solutions.

We've had this debate before and in the end everybody with a brain ended up agreeing with me.

Public schools generally work well in most suburban and rural areas but encounter problems in urban areas. There are all sorts of ideas about what causes this problem. Some people blame race, others blame racism, some blame poverty, other blame lazy parents. Whatever the case may be, there is a significant percentage of urban students who are failing in public school because of a few bad apples consuming all the schools resources but these same urban students would flourish if they were in better learning environments.

Charter schools as they are commonly understood are schools that are funded the same way as public schools, they are not allowed to ask for more money from the student or give "rebates" to the student. Charter schools at least provide an opportunity for students to exercise a little self selection and get out of popisonous learning environments. Every liberal poster seemed to think this was OK as long as the charter school could not cherrypick, most conservative posters seemed OK with this as well (most people seemed to be OK with the idea of magnet schools and GT programs within the public school system).

In the end, liberals were more concerned with a level playing field and distribution of educational opportunity regardless of ability to pay than they are with the specific mechanics of how that level playing field is reached.

Where the kumbaya consensus broke down was on vouchers. Liberals were initially adamantly opposed to the idea because vouchers are commonly portrayed as stealing from public schools so that someone can have their tuition to Exeter subsidized by the public school system (and indeed this is the formulation that most supporters of a voucher system envision). When it was presented as a need based scholarship program, liberals started coming around (with a healthy dose of skepticism but ultimately if it was really just a need based scholarship then they had not real objections).

But the Conservatives didn't want to limit vouchers to those who were in need, that would just make it another government welfare program. The voucher system as commonly envisioned by conservatives is to give every child a voucher and let them spend it anywhere they want. If they want to spend it on their local public school (that way the public school would have to compete for every student just like a private school), then fine, if they want to bundle the voucher with $20,000 from their parents to go to Sidwell Friends then that is fine too.

Our president supports charter schools and objects to a voucher system.

Kearsen
11-30-2009, 02:50 PM
This is untrue and has been shown to be untrue in many studies. From here, for instance: (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0377/is_n127/ai_19416359/)

"They examined achievement test data and concluded that students in Catholic schools learn more than students in public schools. Moreover, Coleman rejected the claim that Catholic school students perform better on achievement tests simply because they are more talented or come from better families. He argued that the achievement differences between public and Catholic school students are, in significant measure, attributable to the different schools they attend."

and

"Taken as a whole, Coleman's work, and subsequent research by other scholars, indicates that, on average, Catholic high-school students learn more than public-school students of similar backgrounds and ability levels. It was also found that Catholic schooling lowers high-school dropout rates."

Later in the article they also discuss research that specifically looked at minority students in inner-city areas, and showed that Catholic schools outperform public schools in those areas as well. Since the report was commissioned by the Department of Education, it's certainly not biased against public schools.


And where's the cite for this? After all, voucher programs have existed in over a dozen states, sometimes for many years. Look at the link in my OP about the performance of students and especially minority students in Florida schools after the ambitious reforms of 1998. How does your theory account for that?


What evidence would convince you that private schools perform better than public schools? Or, as a 15-year-old skeptic would say, what makes your hypothesis falsifiable?


It sounds like to me, we need to all send our kids to Catholic School.

Ravenman
11-30-2009, 03:27 PM
Remember when conservatives used to talk about how Affirmative Action was wrong, because it was based on race, not "opportunity?" As in, there are some white folks who are at a far greater disadvantage for social mobility than some minorities?

Well, thank you, ITR champion, for turning that argument back on its head.

Let's look at a few more underperforming school districts: Alexandria County, VA (http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/05/schools-taxes-education-biz-beltway_cz_cs_0705schools_slides_12.html?thisSpeed=15000) (59% white), Glynn County, GA (http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/05/schools-taxes-education-biz-beltway_cz_cs_0705schools_slides_13.html?thisSpeed=15000) (71% white), and Ulster County, New York (http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/05/schools-taxes-education-biz-beltway_cz_cs_0705schools_slides_15.html?thisSpeed=15000) (88% white).

Crappy schools are not crappy because lots of poor black people go there, which is essentially what the OP stated, in a rather bald attempt to cast implicit racist aspersions on people who do not support vouchers.

In the end, I think Bear Nenno was exactly right when he said that the main problem in thinking that vouchers are a panacea to failing public schools is that where there is poverty, there is a larger population of shitty parents who just don't care what the hell their kids do. Heck, the sooner the kids drop out of school and get their McJob/dealing drugs/running a meth lab/whatever, the sooner they start bringing money into the broken, messed-up family.

These are not the kind of people who care enough to take free money to send their kids to public schools. These are the die-hard underclass of people, who, regardless of race, are going to leave their kids right where they are and not care about them very much. How do vouchers help these folks?

And the study about the Catholic schools that is summarized, but not cited, seems to say that factors like family income don't relate well to student performance. I can see that, but the OP seems to be asserting that how screwed up a family is (e.g., dad was never in the kid's lives, mom's an alcoholic, family lives in crime-ridden neighborhood, etc) doesn't relate to academic performance. That beggars belief.

But just to sum up, I object to the poisoning of the well with making this subject about race. Lousy schools are found in predominantly white and predominantly minority areas. The question of how to best fix schools is a question that isn't an issue of race.

Little Nemo
11-30-2009, 04:07 PM
So, to conclude, our current system discriminates against poor, black and Hispanic students. School vouchers and charter schools have a proven ability to address this problem. Yet many people continue to fight these solutions.Vouchers are not a solution. They just help some people avoid the problem.

As others have said, most private schools do not accept vouchers as full payment. If a private school wants $20,000 a year in tuition and the state is offering a $5000 a year voucher, it's not helping any poor kids get into private schools - they can't afford the $15,000 a year they'd need. Vouchers are a system that has poor people being taxed to subsidize schools they can't afford to send their own children to.

sqweels
11-30-2009, 04:30 PM
One question I have about vouchers is, who's going to pay the tuition of all the students whose families are already affording to send them to private schools?

No doubt billions of non-tax dollars are being spent on private schools and if vouchers are implemented, these families will be first in line and the money (or a good chunk of it) they were spending on tuition will stay in their pockets. This will create a huge budgetary hole before any current public school students are transferred to private.

Valgard
11-30-2009, 04:57 PM
I like the idea of school vouchers, but when I do the math on the back of an envelope, it seems a voucher system takes money out of education.

Now, the rich guy pays a school tax and he pays for his kid's fancy private school. We are screwing the rich guy who gets nothing for his tax dollar. Under a voucher program, the poor person and the rich person both get vouchers, so the system is helping the rich guy with school costs. Income from taxes remain the same, but expenses increase.

Am I wrong on this?

Your rich guy isn't getting screwed any more than I, as a childless guy, am getting screwed by paying taxes to support public schools. The overall benefits of a well-educated society are obvious and we as society have agreed to spread the costs. To take a slightly frivolous example, I have never once seen the US Army come by and personally defend my house. Should the government give me a voucher to defray the cost of my shotgun and shells?

justrob
11-30-2009, 05:06 PM
the Milwaukee program for families below 175% of the poverty line and so forth.

One of the best features of the Milwaukee voucher system is that it provides vouchers of a value that includes federal funding but since that student is no longer on the MPS rolls they no longer get that funding. A nice little double dip to help the public school system out.

UltraVires
12-01-2009, 10:09 AM
They have to accept every student who applies (no cherry picking just the "good" ones),

Why in God's name does this keep coming up as a "bad" thing for private schools? The thing that I think is ridiculous is that we plot a geographic area on a map and say, "Okay, all children between the ages of X and Y will attend school Z and have exactly the same curriculum".

Kids are different and learn at different rates. What is wrong with a school saying, "We want kids with IQs of 115 and above so that we can focus on our accelerated curriculum" The school down the road specializes in low IQ students and other schools differentiate on different things. This "all for one and one for all" approach is one of the main things killing education.

Imagine if you had a swim class that had to accept everyone from a person who sank like a stone all the way up to Mark Phelps? Why not use the role of competitive advantage and allow schools to specialize?

Ravenman
12-01-2009, 10:44 AM
In fairness, I don't think anyone is saying that private schools shouldn't be able to select who they want as students, provided there's no illegal discrimination at work. The question is more of how to fairly distribute resources to schools to achieve the best results.

If private schools siphon off the brightest students, and those with learning disabilities or need remedial classes are left in public schools, it does not seem fair to me to subsidize the private schools with vouchers, thereby taking resources from the public schools. I'd rather invest more resources in helping the worse-off students get up to acceptable levels of knowledge for a high school diploma, rather than invest more public dollars in bright students who are probably going to go on to a good college anyway.

Little Nemo
12-01-2009, 01:23 PM
Why in God's name does this keep coming up as a "bad" thing for private schools? The thing that I think is ridiculous is that we plot a geographic area on a map and say, "Okay, all children between the ages of X and Y will attend school Z and have exactly the same curriculum".It's an issue because private schools are always comparing their performance to public schools. It's a biased comparison if public schools have to accept all students and private schools can refuse any students who'll bring down the school average. And it's an issue because people are advocating giving public money via vouchers to private schools. Once they start receiving public money their policies are open to public debate.

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
12-02-2009, 03:16 AM
those with learning disabilities or need remedial classes are left in public schools,
Um not everyone with an LD is gonna drag down test scores. There are a lot of those who are " Ummm Who's President Obama?" but a lot of us are smart.
it does not seem fair to me to subsidize the private schools with vouchers, thereby taking resources from the public schools. I'd rather invest more resources in helping the worse-off students get up to acceptable levels of knowledge for a high school diploma, rather than invest more public dollars in bright students who are probably going to go on to a good college anyway.
YES!!!!!! Vouchers would prolly be used by those helicopter parents who produce overacheiver offspring to send wittle Smashlie to Harvard......................Sorry but those kids are the entitled spoiled brats who do NOT need more ops. We need to concentrate on the percentage of kids who are being underserved!

Kearsen
12-02-2009, 11:13 AM
Um not everyone with an LD is gonna drag down test scores. There are a lot of those who are " Ummm Who's President Obama?" but a lot of us are smart.
i
YES!!!!!! Vouchers would prolly be used by those helicopter parents who produce overacheiver offspring to send wittle Smashlie to Harvard......................Sorry but those kids are the entitled spoiled brats who do NOT need more ops. We need to concentrate on the percentage of kids who are being underserved!

Got to draw a line somewhere, and this here folks, is where the middle class gets screwed again.

My ass hurts, I'm really really tired of getting screwed.

Markxxx
12-02-2009, 01:31 PM
If you are an intercity kid, it would be delusional to think you can be part of the ever narrowing American dream. They know where they are born and raised has made them expendable. The system will do all it can to keep them separated from those who matter. It will happen ,rarely, that a person will escape. It will be pointed out to the kids, that it is possible. Except they know better. They are doomed to a difficult and dangerous life because of where they were born. We have exported the jobs they had a chance to get. They will have to live by exploiting each other , selling drugs , robbing each other or fast food. Government assistance is something to aspire to.The opportunities in their neighborhoods are long gone.

I disagree totally with this. I came from the South Side of Chicago and there are just WAY too many people who were totally disadvantaged that I went to school with and they did OK.

It was the lazy punked out kids who couldn't be bothered, that failed. Whenever the parent said "You know you can achieve," they did. When the parent said "You can't win," the kids copped out.

I've worked in mentor programs with teens and a lot of them simply cop out. By the time they hit their teens they don't WANT to do anything for themselves. They have 100% convinced themselves they can't achieve anything.

Part of the problme is the PC world we live in. It's not politically correct to critisize anyone. In the book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," the mother Katie sees her kids getting a free Christmas tree and says, "This is bad, they think it's good, they got that tree for nothing. But it's bad. Now instead of trying to better themselves they will make happiness out of this misery. They don't see they live in a fithly building, in a filthy neighborhood, surrounded by a bunch of people who ain't much good."

Look at the show Good Times. The Evans family were never ashamed about living in the ghetto, but the Evans never celebrated that fact. They knew while the ghetto was nothing to be ashamed of, it's nothing to be proud of either. It's something to be gotten OUT of.

Now there are a few people that have the deck stacked against them and won't win.

But the question needs to be asked, if one person can do it, why not two, if two can do it, why not three and so forth.

This morning I got up at 6am and waited in line for 2 hours with a bunch of other people for a job agency. I am a college grad froman excellent school (U of Chicago) competing with people there who didn't even graduate high school. But we are all TRYING to better ourselves even though we all know of the hundred or so people in that line, only one or two will get a job.

Too many others are taking the easy way out. Saying "my chances of getting the job are next to none, (which is right) so why should I wait in the cold.

Again there are some people who do fall through the cracks and just have the deck stacked against them and I don't mind people failing. We all fail, but you gotta try and we need to start teaching people HOW to work things.

foolsguinea
12-02-2009, 11:31 PM
Wouldn't it make more sense to outlaw private schools? I know that private schools have been used to continue actual blatant segregation in the past.

Damuri Ajashi
12-03-2009, 02:30 PM
Why in God's name does this keep coming up as a "bad" thing for private schools? The thing that I think is ridiculous is that we plot a geographic area on a map and say, "Okay, all children between the ages of X and Y will attend school Z and have exactly the same curriculum".

Kids are different and learn at different rates. What is wrong with a school saying, "We want kids with IQs of 115 and above so that we can focus on our accelerated curriculum" The school down the road specializes in low IQ students and other schools differentiate on different things. This "all for one and one for all" approach is one of the main things killing education.

Imagine if you had a swim class that had to accept everyone from a person who sank like a stone all the way up to Mark Phelps? Why not use the role of competitive advantage and allow schools to specialize?

I don't think anyon thinks there is a problem with public education in rural areas (rural schools tend to be more one size fits all), the folks who want vouchers in rural areas basically want to send thie kids to religious schools. The place where the public education system seems broken are in cities (where the population density allows for all sorts of sepcialization and special programs).

You can have diversity of curriculum in public schools just as easily as you have it in private schools. Fairfax County Virginia is consistently ranked very higly for its public school system, it has a top magnet school, a very good gifted/talented program, a very comprehensive remedial program,etc. It also has among the most educated parents in the nation. But, go head into the city (Washington, DC), and you have a basket case school district.

The parents of the public school students there have lower than average education, high unemployment, high percentage of single parent households, hig levels of poverty, etc.

Do you really think the problem is that these parents don't have a coupon that will let them send their kids to private school?

ITR champion
12-03-2009, 05:18 PM
Vouchers are not sufficient to pay for private schools. They just help out those who are sending their kids any way. To change things vouchers would have to cover the cost of better schools. There is no effort to do that. So schools will get even more separated. The schools of the poor will become less attractive and less competitive. The separation of the rich and poor will be complete.
Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.
I like the idea of school vouchers, but when I do the math on the back of an envelope, it seems a voucher system takes money out of education.

Now, the rich guy pays a school tax and he pays for his kid's fancy private school. We are screwing the rich guy who gets nothing for his tax dollar. Under a voucher program, the poor person and the rich person both get vouchers, so the system is helping the rich guy with school costs. Income from taxes remain the same, but expenses increase.
Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

One question I have about vouchers is, who's going to pay the tuition of all the students whose families are already affording to send them to private schools?

No doubt billions of non-tax dollars are being spent on private schools and if vouchers are implemented, these families will be first in line and the money (or a good chunk of it) they were spending on tuition will stay in their pockets. This will create a huge budgetary hole before any current public school students are transferred to private.
Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

As others have said, most private schools do not accept vouchers as full payment. If a private school wants $20,000 a year in tuition and the state is offering a $5000 a year voucher, it's not helping any poor kids get into private schools - they can't afford the $15,000 a year they'd need. Vouchers are a system that has poor people being taxed to subsidize schools they can't afford to send their own children to.
Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

I posted this link (http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/newsroom/ShowProgram.do) earlier in the thread. You can check the eligibility criteria for every program in the country yourself. Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

Some voucher programs offer amounts in the range of $4,000 to $8,000. Even a family too poor to make any contribution would would still gain access to some private schools (http://www.capenet.org/facts.html) with that amount of money. In other cases, the voucher could be put together with a small amount of scholarship money. The bottom line is that private schools are cheaper than public schools. In Fairfax county, public schools spend almost $13,000 (http://www.fcps.edu/about/stats.htm) per student. In DC it's much higher. So we could provide vouchers that would open the door the many private schools and still spend less than we do for public schools. Obviously poor kids will never go to the very most expensive tier of private schools, but that doesn't change the argument. (And the most expensive schools aren't always the best anyway.)

Little Nemo
12-04-2009, 12:10 AM
Some voucher programs offer amounts in the range of $4,000 to $8,000. Even a family too poor to make any contribution would would still gain access to some private schools with that amount of money. In other cases, the voucher could be put together with a small amount of scholarship money. The bottom line is that private schools are cheaper than public schools. In Fairfax county, public schools spend almost $13,000 per student. In DC it's much higher. So we could provide vouchers that would open the door the many private schools and still spend less than we do for public schools. Obviously poor kids will never go to the very most expensive tier of private schools, but that doesn't change the argument. (And the most expensive schools aren't always the best anyway.)That's ridiculous. A public school education is effectively free. At least there are not direct tuition costs. There are obviously indirect costs because people pay taxes for public schools - but they pay those taxes regardless of whether or not they use the public schools. And vouchers would add additional cost - they also have to be paid for by tax money.

And, as has been pointed out already, public school costs and private school costs are not comparible. Private schools have the option of keeping their costs down by refusing to accept students who need high-cost special education programs or have other expensive needs. If private schools were required to accept all students, you'd certainly see their per-student average go up.

Damuri Ajashi
12-04-2009, 11:29 AM
Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.


Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.


Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

I posted this link (http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/newsroom/ShowProgram.do) earlier in the thread. You can check the eligibility criteria for every program in the country yourself. Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

Then get the conservatives to stop talking about a voucher program that will offer vouchers to anyone with a child (regardless of means) and maybe there would be more support for it but the voucher program that all the conservatives envision seems to hand out vouchers to all the parents of the students at Exeter and Sidwell Friends along with everyone else (anything else would be discrimination and un-American, why do you hate America?).

Some voucher programs offer amounts in the range of $4,000 to $8,000. Even a family too poor to make any contribution would would still gain access to some private schools (http://www.capenet.org/facts.html) with that amount of money.

Nice link, seriously.

It seems pretty clear that the cheaper schools that fall into the range you are talking about are all religious schools. They get subsidized by the collection plate, Catholic schools also have really cheap teacher.

In other cases, the voucher could be put together with a small amount of scholarship money.

Not enough to base a national education system around.

The bottom line is that private schools are cheaper than public schools. In Fairfax county, public schools spend almost $13,000 (http://www.fcps.edu/about/stats.htm) per student.

As far as I can tell, the average non-religious private school tuition is about $18K-$25 in Fairfax County (and that's just tuition).

In DC it's much higher.

Yeah non-religious private school tuition is higher too at Georgetown Day and Sidwell Friends too.

So we could provide vouchers that would open the door the many private schools and still spend less than we do for public schools.

So how many nuns do you think we have in this country? I'm sure they'd try to make it work somehow but a parish collection plate simply cannot support a school district.

Obviously poor kids will never go to the very most expensive tier of private schools, but that doesn't change the argument. (And the most expensive schools aren't always the best anyway.)

According to the website the non-religious private schools seem to be about as big a gap between secular private school and religious private schools as there is between religious schools and public schools. Secular private schools cost more so using your ridiculous logic, those secular private schools must be better, it has nothing to do with the resources of the parents at these schools or anything like that.

I also notice that you seem to be moving away from a need based voucher system.

So let me ask you bluntly, are you talking about a need based voucher system or a more general voucher system because it you are not talking about a need based voucher system then why the heck do you use the fact that most voucher systems are need based to knock down other people's arguments?

Damuri Ajashi
12-04-2009, 11:33 AM
That's ridiculous. A public school education is effectively free. At least there are not direct tuition costs. There are obviously indirect costs because people pay taxes for public schools - but they pay those taxes regardless of whether or not they use the public schools. And vouchers would add additional cost - they also have to be paid for by tax money.

And, as has been pointed out already, public school costs and private school costs are not comparible. Private schools have the option of keeping their costs down by refusing to accept students who need high-cost special education programs or have other expensive needs. If private schools were required to accept all students, you'd certainly see their per-student average go up.

If both public schools and catholic schools were fully funded by the government, catholic schools would still be cheaper because of the self selection and the nuns.

shiftless
12-04-2009, 03:54 PM
How do the proponents of vouchers think they (the voucher) are going to solve education problems? Saying more privates school students go on to college is just stating something so obvious as to be meaningless. If private school students did less well than public I really doubt they would get much business, other than some nuts who don't want their precious exposed to the public.

Is the belief that any and all private schools can supply a better education for less money then the government is now spending? I see a quote of $13K a year for a Fairfax county (which happens to be my county) public school student. That is the complete operating budget for Fairfax schools divided by the enrollment - so it covers all the sports stuff, busses, buildings, special ed classes - everything. Now, if someone can find a good private school in the area for $13K, let me know - Browne academy (we looked there once), in Fairfax county, costs $21,500 for K-8. Their extracurricular activities include Basketball and a music program (period) and I don't see any special programs to help kids with autism (for example) and I don't think they have busses, so the parents all drive their kids. Is this really the model of a good school for all the voucher proponents? Sure, its great if your kid is smart and you have lots of money and free time; even better if you can convince Uncle Sugar to foot some of the bill. There is no question that parents who send their kids to private school would love to have the government pay part of the bill. The fact the these wealth few try to pass off their greed as charity for the poor says all I need to know about voucher programs.

Now, if all private schools were willing to take any and all students who come to their doors, including special needs students, and they were willing to meet the same laws and standards as public schools there may be some sort of argument. But that ain't happening. What vouchers amount to is people saying "I want the government to give me back some money because I don't use that service." Well, I can think of a whole lot of services I don't use and yet that silly government keeps spending money on them - shouldn't I get a voucher for all the public parks I never visit? And the military budget, don't even get me started on the slick home defense system I could afford with my share that.

The wealthy of America need suck it up and accept the fact that sometimes their dollars are going to get mixed in with the dollars of the rabble and it isn't always practical for them to get every single dollar back out again in services ahead of everybody else.

alphaboi867
12-04-2009, 05:29 PM
If both public schools and catholic schools were fully funded by the government, catholic schools would still be cheaper because of the self selection and the nuns.

Most Catholic school teachers these days are laity. There aren't enough nuns (or priests, or monks) to go around anymore. In the old days it was easy to get a nun to teach for free (as her vocation); that's one of the reasons why Catholic schools have gotten more expensive. You're right about the self selection.

Little Nemo
12-04-2009, 11:38 PM
If both public schools and catholic schools were fully funded by the government, catholic schools would still be cheaper because of the self selection and the nuns.Yeah, but studies have found that getting whacked with a ruler doesn't cure dyslexia.

gonzomax
12-04-2009, 11:47 PM
Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.


Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.


Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

I posted this link (http://www.friedmanfoundation.org/newsroom/ShowProgram.do) earlier in the thread. You can check the eligibility criteria for every program in the country yourself. Most voucher programs are offered only to the poor.

Some voucher programs offer amounts in the range of $4,000 to $8,000. Even a family too poor to make any contribution would would still gain access to some private schools (http://www.capenet.org/facts.html) with that amount of money. In other cases, the voucher could be put together with a small amount of scholarship money. The bottom line is that private schools are cheaper than public schools. In Fairfax county, public schools spend almost $13,000 (http://www.fcps.edu/about/stats.htm) per student. In DC it's much higher. So we could provide vouchers that would open the door the many private schools and still spend less than we do for public schools. Obviously poor kids will never go to the very most expensive tier of private schools, but that doesn't change the argument. (And the most expensive schools aren't always the best anyway.)

Voucher programs are not just for the poor. As a matter of fact the thrust is for everybody to have the option . The voucher programs I see are for a maximum of 3,000 dollars. That does not get a poor kid into an exclusive high school. Your data does not match what I read and see in Michigan.

raindog
12-07-2009, 09:13 AM
Isn't is possible that desegregation did more harm than good?

Odesio
12-07-2009, 09:26 AM
I don't think anyon thinks there is a problem with public education in rural areas (rural schools tend to be more one size fits all), the folks who want vouchers in rural areas basically want to send thie kids to religious schools.


Check out some of the schools in the rural areas of the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. There is a problem with public education in plenty of rural areas. Not that vouchers will help these people out very much given that they're so poor to begin with.

Odesio

Odesio
12-07-2009, 09:33 AM
Isn't is possible that desegregation did more harm than good?

Things weren't all that great before desegregation. In Little Rock, Arkansas you could definitely see a difference between Central High (all white) and a nearby all black high school. The all black high school had more students, less space, a smaller budget, and the staff and faculty made a lot less money than their white counterparts. So far as I can tell this kind of situation was normal in all aspects of segregated life which is why it was decided that separate could not be equal.

raindog
12-07-2009, 09:50 AM
Things weren't all that great before desegregation. In Little Rock, Arkansas you could definitely see a difference between Central High (all white) and a nearby all black high school. The all black high school had more students, less space, a smaller budget, and the staff and faculty made a lot less money than their white counterparts. So far as I can tell this kind of situation was normal in all aspects of segregated life which is why it was decided that separate could not be equal.
Oh, I completely agree with the disparities. I'm not convinced that forced bussing was/is the solution. From where I sit------and after decades of forced bussing-----it doesn't look to me that it worked. And....may have produced more harm than good.

UltraVires
12-07-2009, 10:07 AM
Do you really think the problem is that these parents don't have a coupon that will let them send their kids to private school?

It is a problem for the family that realizes the dire situation they are in and want to make sure that their kids don't make the same mistakes.

Currently, they have no choice but to send their child to a dangerous inner city school where they can learn thug life and end up idiots just like their parents.

"But we would be taking money away from these public schools who need it the most!" Those schools don't need money; they need to be closed down and then burned down. The administration of those schools are either unable or unwilling to enforce a modicum of discipline, and this permanently keeps minorities in the same squalor that their parents live in.

Damuri Ajashi
12-07-2009, 10:25 AM
Check out some of the schools in the rural areas of the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. There is a problem with public education in plenty of rural areas. Not that vouchers will help these people out very much given that they're so poor to begin with.

Odesio

You're right, I guess I was talking about the "benefits of choice and competition" that seem to be a central element of the voucher proponents argument.

Damuri Ajashi
12-07-2009, 10:29 AM
It is a problem for the family that realizes the dire situation they are in and want to make sure that their kids don't make the same mistakes.

Currently, they have no choice but to send their child to a dangerous inner city school where they can learn thug life and end up idiots just like their parents.

"But we would be taking money away from these public schools who need it the most!" Those schools don't need money; they need to be closed down and then burned down. The administration of those schools are either unable or unwilling to enforce a modicum of discipline, and this permanently keeps minorities in the same squalor that their parents live in.

And why don't charter schools address every issue you bring up? What do $3000 (or $7000) vouchers do for these poor families that a charter school doesn't do better?