To: All Msg #164, Sep-08-93 05:07AM Subject: Re: V
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)
Reply-To: danwell@IASTATE.EDU (Daniel A Ashlock)
Excuuuuusssssseeeee me, Bruce, I want a piece of this.
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Bill
> 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
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. 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
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
> 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.
 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
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank