To: All Msg #164, Sep-08-93 05:07AM Subject: Re: V

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From: Daniel A Ashlock To: All Msg #164, Sep-08-93 05:07AM Subject: Re: Voucher System. Organization: Iowa State University From: danwell@IASTATE.EDU (Daniel A Ashlock) Message-ID: <> Reply-To: danwell@IASTATE.EDU (Daniel A Ashlock) Newsgroups: talk.religion.misc,sci.skeptic, Excuuuuusssssseeeee me, Bruce, I want a piece of this. In article <> (Bill Riggs) writes: > The entire purpose of a voucher system is to give parents >a choice in selecting the quality of their childrens' education. It >is irrational and contrary to the spirit of the marketplace to have >the state limit the range of choices available. That is an errant pack of nonsense. One facet of the voucher system is that it might give some upper middle class parents some choice in selecting the quality of their children's eduction. It will also provide substantial subsidies of public money to religious schools with a modest increase in quality in those schools. If the intent of the voucher system were to give educational choice then the amount of money involved would be enough to permit all, not merely the borderline affluent or better, to make a choice. In addition, allowing the marketplace to regulate education is about the only idea I can think of that would be more irresponsible or stupid than allowing the government to run it[1]. The marketplace is really good at marginalizing some groups (which IMHO is one of the primary reasons we should have a government instead of capitalist anarchy). The marketplace, functioning via migration, is already causing inner city schools to be jammed with maginalized populations of potential gang members and teen-age parents. A voucher system, as envisioned by George Herbert Hoover Bush, would quite likely accellerate this trend. With the penny-ante voucher systems on the table during the previous administration the big effect of the program would have been: o Private school tuition subsidies for people with high incomes at the expense of public schools. o Government subsidy of the Catholic school system which, in my experiece, is already a better school system than the public one (if you ignore the religious indoctrination :-) ). o Formation of additional fundamentalist schools in many of which children can be taught to hate those who do not share their religion and discouraged from anything resembling thought, again at public expense and quite possibly in violation of the first amendment. o Additional decay of the public schools as funding flees for ideological reasons ensuring that not only will there be poor always but that their numbers will grow alarmingly. o Modest reshuffling of the public school population, with a few at the economic border moving to private schools. >Some lack of >virtue in goods rendered is a necessary evil when one gives average people >the right to make their own decisions. High sounding, but we have not yet begun to raise teachers salaries and tighten the qualifications. If we could turn teaching into a job that could attract good people (beyond than that small population of skilled teachers with no interest in an income) and actually force teachers not to be pinheads (I have many examples and you should see what my incoming frosh are taught before they get here. Blechhh!) we could actually have an educational system. Other people do. Instead the crowd that brought you trickle down economics, Pat Roberston, and an anti-flag burning amendment wants to turn over reform to the marketplace. "Yeah, I've got this magic elixer. It _always_ works...". The market place seems to work well for many things. I generates vast quantities of wealth. It can be used to control pollution in a fashion vastly superior to govenment regulation. It can even stimulate innovation. I really doubt it can even-handedly educate America. Education is not just a market commodity, it is a foundational neccesity of democracy. > It is hardly the case that the nation will be better off by >preserving an corrupt and antiquated public school system. Local communities >need to run their own school systems. I agree that reform is overdue; the proposed voucher system sucks as a path for reform. I also haven't any idea what your last sentence has to do with the rest of your remarks. The voucher system will tend to degrade local control of schools by adding yet another layer of governmental control in the regulation of the voucher system. Dan Danwell@IASTATE.EDU [1] Which leads to the question, well who do you think should run the schools, Dan? Answer: parents. I volunteer in my kid's school. If those parents with the time to do so all did, we would see a sharp immprovement in educational quality.


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