Vouchers for Education

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
November 12, 2007 1:23pm CST
If the NEA were working for the classroom teachers and not to protect the Union they would support the use of vouchers for all people. The one group that would benifit the most would be the Public Schools. Under most voucher plans the responsiblity for a students education would be transfered form the school to the parents. Parents could take their money to any school school they wanted. Schools would also be free to accept those students that are willing to follow the rules of the school. When you talk to teachers they complain about having to have students who are not interested in learning. Under vouchers The School could say that students who do not attend or do the work will not be back the next semester. Parents would then have to find another school or get the student to follow the rules. Under the present system the parent can say "I can't get him/her to do anything, good luck" and walk away. With a voucher the parent would have to find another school and provide transportation. Special Education Students would have more money following them and schools would be willing to accept them, but would not have to bend to every little whim of a few parents. Many school will choose to drop out of the public system and form a private school to avoid the non education requirements imposed by the stae and federal government. Now all the rules would be followed by all who want the vouchers comming to their school. I can think of only two reason why the NEA would oppose the School Voucher: 1) Schools with low performing students woulk have to take action agains the teachers who are not up to the task and replace them with better teachers. 2) There would be competition between schools and the Union would lose power and many of the Union Staff Jobs would be gone. Having worked in the Public Schools for over 20 years as both a teacher and administrator I see only good comming from vouchers. I even had a Union Rep suggest that teachers could be paid based upon the number of studetns they taught. His classes were averaging between 25 and 30 students a period. While another teacher taught mostly remedial classe that were limited to 15 and usually smaller per period. They both got paid the same. The Voucher system would create a contract between the school and the parents with both sides agreeing on how things should be done. IF they can't agree then either party is free to leave and go some where eles.
2 people like this
4 responses
@callarse1 (4808)
• United States
2 Mar 08
I love what you wrote, what I don't like about vouchers in my state: a) They can only be used to go to "charter" or private schools. They can't choose to go to other public schools, and I think the vouchers should be used to go to any school, right? b) If the parent decide that the charter/private school isn't working out & they go back to the public school, the charter/private school has taken that students' yearly money (given by the government) so the public school now has to teach the student & won't be getting the money! The problem is the following: Many people need to have someone to balm for failures, the teachers will blame the students, the students blame the teachers, the parents blame their children & the teachers, the administration (principals) blames the teacher. Basically if we play the "blame game" EVERYONE LOSES! What needs to be recognized is the following: a) Not all parents are perfect & some have NOT raised their children appropriately, or they may come to find out that their child acts totally different in class by being disrespectful. Parents why don't you come to school to see how YOUR child is acting? You may actually be surprised at what you see. b) Students, how can you blame others if you spend the whole time you get home playing video games/watching TV?! Do you know that we only spend fourteen percent of our time in high school (in USA schools)?! The other 86% we're sleeping-doing activities-(at home, sports, watching TV). Therefore if you are failing because you aren't doing the work, guess what? It's YOUR FAULT, not your parents, not your teacher's! I totally agree that everyone should be held accountable: the parents, the students, the teachers, the administration, and the community. It takes a village to raise a child, so why are we blaming everyone else when we should all be held accountable?! :) Pablo
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
3 Mar 08
The voucher should be used by the parents to find the best education for their child. With the voucher the parents and the school form a contract where the school outlines what is expected of the student and the parents. The parents in return get a course of study that their child will be following. The contract is to the benifit of both parties.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (24835)
• United States
19 Nov 07
While I admit the idea looks good on paper there are still a few things that would have to be worked out before I'd be in favor of it. First, I'm afraid children from poor neighborhoods would still be left behind because their parents would probably not be able to provide transportation for them to go to better schools. Also, if the vouchers weren't enough to pay the entire tuition to get into a good school it would still leave the poorer children out while simply providing a discount for parents who could already afford an expensive private school. Students having to do the work and parents being responsible for seeing to it they do is fine with me. I just wouldn't like to see something that would cause a larger yet divide between th "haves" and "have nots" in our society. Annie
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
25 Feb 08
Public Schools in poor neighborhoods are bad because the Unions allow the best teachers to leave those schools. Principals can not get rid of poor teachers or even enforce the Curriculum the district wants taught. Right now Public Schools feel they have to do everything and can not require parents to get involved. The private schools, including the ones in the poor neighborhood, demand that the parents be involved in the school. it is the parents responsiblity to see that the child is educated and not the schools. Vouchers put the responsiblity back on the parents to take care of the children.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (24835)
• United States
1 Mar 08
I totally agree that parents should be involved in their children's education and everything should be done to force them to be but what happens to the children of those who can't or won't get involved? Also, the problem still remains for those who have no means of getting their children to one of these better schools. So I still must say giving school vouchers would benefit children from higher income families mainly and would make it so children from poor families would be even more "stuck" in a rut of not getting the best possible education so they could better themselves in the future. I'm a very strong union supporter but that doesn't mean there aren't things I disagree with that some unions do, especially the NEA from what I've heard and read. However, I believe every child in the U.S deserves the best possible elementary and secondary education at the very least and every effort should be made to improve our public schools so every child has equal access to that education. There should be incentives for good teachers to stay in the poor neighborhoods and bad teachers should not be protected at all costs. Annie Public Schools in poor neighborhoods are bad because the Unions allow the best teachers to leave those schools. Principals can not get rid of poor teachers or even enforce the Curriculum the district wants taught. Right now Public Schools feel they have to do everything and can not require parents to get involved. The private schools, including the ones in the poor neighborhood, demand that the parents be involved in the school. it is the parents responsiblity to see that the child is educated and not the schools. Vouchers put the responsiblity back on the parents to take care of the children.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
2 Mar 08
I talked to a principal from a private school and commented that it must be nice to get rid of the problem children. She told me that yes it is nice but in her time at the school (several years) she has not expelled one child. What she did have was the threat to expell and that threat caused the parents to react and work to imporve the child. With vouchers the parents have the same threat to improve the school or I will pull my child and the money. Parents might feel a part of the school again and work with the school and the child. It is clear that the present system is not working in large school systems and we need to try something different.
1 person likes this
@theprogamer (10543)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Hey Bob, I remember having responses to discussions on the subject of education (especially why stateside education is abyssmal). Anyways, I do hold a voucher system in higher esteem as a possible option. Well, that and a much more REAL education system (not the indoctrination, giant babysitting prison schools usually are). And with this subject I always point out how other countries spend less, work hard and have much better results compared to the US. The voucher system as I've experienced does allow for more competition between the schools. If the school does a horrible job of educating the children and does a terrible job in terms of discipline, parents and students will simply go to better schools. Nothing like a shape the hell up or ship the f*ck out doctrine to give a bloated, ineffective system a real incentive. One other thing I have to bring up. Why is it more public schooling and more spending is proposed as the option, when we can see other countries and options with less spending and BETTER results? Oh wait, common solution for certain people and government officials. If it doesn't work, throw money at it. If it still doesn't work, throw more money at it. If its still broken, throw even more money. Repeat every year while somehow watching the product get worse. I could tell you and others plenty of horror stories of schools both personal experience and other experience/accounts.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
5 Mar 08
I worked with a teacher who wanted to take the voucher system one step further and wanted to see students pay teachers directly. Students could pay for a lecture, extra help, or just to take a test to see if they were knowledgeable in the subject area. He felt that the hard working students could do with less teacher time and learn more on their own if they had the chance. He wanted a system like the old Universities where a student came in with a "Sheep Skin" and the teachers signed it when the student was proficient in the subject matter and the student paid accordingly. Wouldn't that shake up the NEA.
@theprogamer (10543)
• United States
5 Mar 08
Now THAT intrigues me. Maybe I could have graduated high school in half the time. I chuckle a bit now too, since education is still on the decline. If I had to do it over in today's climate, it'd just be a revolving door. But yes the old university style, the qualification aspect... that'd really scare some of the overgrown bureaucracy in question. I'd actually want to see the results of something like that... at least I can imagine.
@gary_law (84)
• Hong Kong
7 Oct 08
I doubt that vouchers for education would be a good way to enhance learning. Parents can of course choose those school that "produces" students with good grades in the public exams, and those schools opt for other education goals may close down since no one will "pay" for those schools. It seems to me that the whole education system will eventually be driven by public examination, in which only some of the education goals can be quantified. So how about those could not be assessed in public exam? Does the public exam result really determine how successful a student is?
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
8 Oct 08
It would be similar to colleges. When my children were looking at colleges I asked what the job placement was and what type of job the students were getting. As a parent I would research the school to see what the school offered and what they expected of me. The voucher becomes a contract between the school and myself. I would look at testing data and what and how they test. I think it would be a better system because it places the responsibility back on the parents and students to work with the school.