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School Voucher Program Fails to Deliver

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by downtown, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Pretty stats. No complaints from me :)
     
  2. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Yeah, thats all true. The United States does spend more on education than other more successful countries. We also spend a lot of money on things they don't (non-instructor personnel, social services, remediation, legal) , and don't spend as much money on things that cannot be done on the cheap (teacher selection and training, in-classroom services).
     
  3. Formaldehyde

    Formaldehyde Both Fair And Balanced

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    Indeed. Improving education shouldn't be all that difficult to do when you have plenty of other more successful systems to emulate.

    Ironically, that is exactly what other countries did to surpass the US in education. The notion of everybody being able to receive at least a high school education at no cost was pioneered by the US. At one time we led the world in this regard. They blatantly copied us and now they are passing us.

    It is clear that the US educational system needs a lot of work. Abandoning the public school system so more affluent Americans can more easily send their kids to private schools, especially when so many of those schools are provincial and fundamentalist Christian in nature, is a solution which can only appeal to those who simply do not care what happens to everybody else.

    As downtown keeps pointing out, a major aspect of the real problem is the general indifference and gross neglect by so many of the other underlying issues. The problem now is not just to improve the schools but to improve the lifestyles of a sizable number of Americans who have long been deliberately neglected.

    The mere fact that the notion of abandoning the public education system is even being raised just goes to show that many really want the schools to be segregated again, this time on class or religious boundaries instead of race.
     
  4. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    A wheel:


    Another wheel:


    So, now, tell me. Why is it a bad idea to reinvent the wheel?
     
  5. BuckeyeJim

    BuckeyeJim King

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    Now why in heavens would affluent people want to send their children to private, provincial, and fundamentalist Christian schools? Especially when they do not perform as well as public schools? This seems to be counterproductive the agenda of the affluent. Perhaps you could expand upon this hypothesis.
     
  6. GamezRule

    GamezRule Inconceivable!

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    Read what he wrote again. ;)
     
  7. BuckeyeJim

    BuckeyeJim King

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    I did. He contradicts himself constantly and I don't think he's very aware of it. In one thread all that matters is the mere existence of an option to attend a private school and this is indicative of some measure of equality, he poor and the middle class are not deserving of vouchers. Now the private school is an advantage of the rich who don't care about the poor, and their very existence and school vouchers marginalize the existence of the poor and middle class. In one post private schools aren't as good as public schools, and so we should get rid of voucher systems, but today the rich, who have an advantage in obtaining the best education, are choosing to attend private and parochial schools that made people ignorant yesterday. I'm just trying to gain some level of clarity here, that's all. I'm mainly trying to figure out that if the advantage derived from a private school for a rich person is so good, then why shouldn't have vouchers available to even the playing field for the poor and middle class so that they don't have to stay locked into the public school system.
     
  8. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    Because they're usually white, fundamentalist Christians themselves. It doesn't have to make sense from a standpoint of rationally choosing the best education. Certain religious and cultural opinions are more important to these people.
     
  9. BuckeyeJim

    BuckeyeJim King

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    All the rich people I know connect with their richness a lot more than their jesusness, and they pay to send their kids to private schools, or move to New Albany, Westerville, or Granville, because they're smart enough to realize their kids will have a better chance at being successful going to the best schools available. The rich folks don't send their kids to Catholic schools, or pay huge premiums on property taxes, so they can become Jesus-ee. They do it to help ensure their kids will be successful and well educated.
     
  10. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    And none of that is relevant to anything. Nothing you said contradicts the general profile of the people who do send their kids to private Christian schools. Now you could say that for a lot of city Catholic schools that doesn't really hold, they get more students of all types, but that's because Catholic schools aren't the most affluent or exclusive ones. For other schools it's very much the rule.
     
  11. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    I feel like the nature of private schools is being mixed up a little bit. For the sake of clarity, let's do a little mini-case study...since me and Jim are from Columbus, lets do that. This would also help illuminate why others are not crazy about vouchers.

    Columbus only has 2 secular private high schools...The Wellington School and Columbus Academy. Both are very small schools, and *very* expensive (CA's tuition is over 20,000 a year and Wellington's is over 18,000, more than virtually anybody pays for a year at Ohio State). Neither have special ed or ESL departments, and even a generous voucher would pay for less than half the tuition.

    Columbus (let's define Columbus as inside the 270 Loop, which would be a reasonable commute for a Columbus Resident) has 5 Catholic Schools...Bishop Hartley, Bishop Ready, Desales, Bishop Watterson, and St.Charles. The latter three are well regarded academically, although also expensive (tuition ranges in the 6,00-9,000 range). Only Hartley has a reputation for being particularly Jesusy...Ready almost closed in the early 2000s because the % of Catholic students had dropped so low. These schools are attended by mostly richer families in the inner suburbs and in Franklin County (particularly St.Charles, which is kind of an Old Money Institution in the Columbus Area). None of these schools have special ed departments either.

    When you leave the city, you'll find that most of the surrounding counties have one Catholic school, and a few other religious, non-parochial schools (Granville Christian, Licking County Christian, Grove City Christian, Tree of Life, etc). None of these are particularly well respected academically (not any more than the local public school, to be sure, especially not tree of life cause it's run by CRAZY people), nor are they particularly expensive (under 4,000) Families pick these schools primarily out of religiosity, rather than academic merit, although the Jesus school may be marginally better than a particularly poor rural school.

    I don't think too many people besides Forma would classify a generic parochial school as particularly fundamentalist (Tree of Life and LCCA would certainly qualify though). I think it's more likely that a person sends their kids to a generic parochial school for the academic college prep environment, and sends their kids to a smaller Christian school for more a more religiously fundamentalist education.
     
  12. bombshoo

    bombshoo Never mind...

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    Pretty trippy to see my high school being mentioned on here by someone else. I'd try to add something from my personal experience to the conversation but you pretty much hit the major points. The only thing worth mentioning is that the Catholic Schools do have a fair number of lower income students because they will drop tuition considerably for fellow Catholics, espeically if they know the family is going through a hard time. A friend of mine was even allowed to attend for free when both his parents died.
     
  13. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

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    Bringing it somewhat off-topic, but has there ever been an opinion poll or discussion of some sort about education-related topics with children/teenagers currently enrolled in private or public institutions? I'd be interested in what the clientele of these schools have to say, particularly how they perceive their education to be.
     
  14. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Ha yeah, that was my reaction too (I graduated from Granville). You're right, the 3 "big" Catholic schools in the city are pretty well capitalized, so they can bring down the tuition a little for fellow Catholics/promising athletic recruits (don't lie, everybody knows you do it :) )
     
  15. BuckeyeJim

    BuckeyeJim King

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    It's important that we break this down by class too.

    The provincial rich people of Franklin County (and even the outer sprawl of Centerburg and Johnstown) will never send their kids to a school like Tree of Life. They will never send their kid to a school that focuses on Jesus more than academics. Rich people want their kids to obtain the best education possible and prepare for college. They place academic success and achievement way above their provincialism. People don't continue the family richness any other way.

    Now, the poor and middle class of say...Licking County, Delaware County... and especially when you get into Knox County, Coshocton County, or anywhere to the southeast, they will send their kids for a provincial education as opposed to an academic one. They are the folks who will gladly sacrifice a bit of academics to have their children in a more structured, disciplined, Christian atmosphere.

    This idea tossed about that the rich are exploiting private schools for their Jesusness is just an inaccurate picture.
     
  16. h0ncho

    h0ncho Chieftain

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    I just read a pretty interesting opinion on the Milwaukee voucher program:
    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/more-on-milwaukee-vouchers/
     
  17. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Well, that's a dumb comment by Cato.

    The customer base isn't limited to 20,000 people in the city, it's 20,000 in the city + anybody who can afford to pay the actual tuition + anybody they feel like giving a scholarship to.

    People don't enter the private school market because there has never been any money in it. The for-profit secondary ed market in the United States is highly lucrative...but nobody has made any money building successful, for-profit K-12 schools. If an Entrepreneur wanted to enter the local education market, he'd do it where there already are few regulations, and very friendly regulators...he'd make a charter school, like thousands of other successful people have done in the US.
     
  18. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    That's actually one thing I wonder about the voucher programs: If every student is given a voucher worth equal value, what incentive do these private programs have to produce ESL and Special Education programs, since these inevitably raise the costs for students?
     
  19. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Deity

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    I don't buy those numbers. It looks like all they did was total all education spending for the whole country, then divided it by the number of students. That's deceptive, because schools in the US are decentralized. We have read the news articles that show that many schools require the teacher to spend his own money just to get the proper supplies for his classroom. That should be impossible if so much money is being spent. It either means that the spending is lopsided (which is the more likely) or there is so much waste that it mostly ends up being thrown away. I suspect all that extra money is being spent in the most affluent communities.

    I should also point out, downtown, that US educational standards are far lower, so it's no wonder that students here underperform. If your expectations are low, you are not likely to exceed them.

    "Nothing the government has ever done has ever been successful."

    That's so last century! :D

    You can hardly blame them. I wouldn't want to pay taxes to fund a worthless institution.
     
  20. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Believe it dude, that's the truth. Yes, it is true that teachers have to spend their own money on classroom supplies (I spent around 400 bucks on mine, and it would have been more if I hadn't received very generous donations from friends back home). Yes, we still spend more money, total, than other industrialized countries.

    The reason, again, is that we spend a lot of money on things that fall under "Education" but not "Classroom instruction". Our schools spend a lot of money on lawyers. We spend a lot of money of social services personnel. We spend a LOT of money on administrative salary. We, quite frankly, spend a lot of money on teacher pensions. We also waste a lot of money.

    The spending is lopsided, not just between rich and poor (although remember that poor districts get state and federal matching funds), but between classroom and outside the classroom.

    It isn't always rich school = spends more money, although rich schools can usually spend a far greater percentage of their money on classroom specific programs. My old school district in Ohio, which is a "rich" district, spends around 8,000 per student, less than the poorer rural schools surrounding it, and substantially less than Columbus City Schools.
     

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