Give Me Stuff I Didn’t Earn
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June 2nd, 2012

Give Me Stuff I Didn’t Earn

Discussion (17)¬

  1. laser plumb bob says:

    There are those on the right who clearly would like to see public education torn down … & what better way than to take money out of public schools & send it to private schools & churches …

  2. Slipstick says:

    That's the whole of it, Bob. What gets me is that a number of these charter schools claim that they're better at educating the students, but the results don't back them up. It gets worse when you consider that charter and other private schools can cherry pick their students.

  3. Chris says:

    While i generally agree with Darrin, what he should have his character say is "Poor kids deserve a right to choose". American success is based upon our ability to choose our own path. Why do we refuse to give this right to parents who want the best education for their children? And it is the poor who are most clamoring for the right to choose as the rich already have it.

    • kenecollier says:

      Unfortunately, voucher plans are never funded well enough to give low income students big enough vouchers to attend the school they choose.

    • bcmayes says:

      But don't the rich have the right to choose because they (or some ancestor) worked hard enough to earn it?

  4. Chris says:

    As Voltaire said, "Don't let perfection be the enemy of the good". In other words, don't let the fact that something won't be perfect prevent you from improving it.
    So could we agree that if the vouchers were adequately funded, school choice for parents would be a good thing???

    • kenecollier says:

      Trust me, I never expect perfection from public policy or private goods. However, as a parent who looked at private school tuitions in public schools I doubt that citizens will be willing to pony up the bucks it would take to pay those bills.
      Also, we have to make sure that schools aren't allowed to only accept the students who are easy to teach and leave the public schools with weak students.
      The details are important and I've watch a lot of for profit charter schools fail miserably. It's a complicated problem and I don't think any approach ensure success.

      • Slipstick says:

        It reminds me of what Thom Hartman is always arguing for. In much of Europe, if something is necessary for the common good of the people, it's owned and run by the government. My biggest problem with charter schools is that they are run for a profit. Everything in this country does not need to be run for a black dollar sign on the bottom of the sheet.

  5. Chris says:

    Agreed. I'm not trying to be difficult but please answer the question. If all of your issues could be addressed, could we agree school choice for parents would be a good thing???

    • kenecollier says:

      I think school choice might would help some things. That's coming from someone whose daughter attended a private pre-school and then a public charter. I just have doubts about the magical abilities that some people think vouchers hold.

  6. Chris says:

    I couldn't agree more. A multipronged solution is required. And I was taught in both private and public schools. But in order to succeed, we must try new things. And some of those will fail and we need to learn from those failures and improve things. I would just hate to see school vouchers/ choice be rejected completely. They may be part of a comprehensive solution, or not, but we should give them a shot and fix their issues or reject them depending on the results.

    • Tangerine says:

      Chris, why not just spend that money on improving public schools, where everyone seems loath to put money already? That's the primary reason why so many people want to pull their kids out. They want up-to-date textbooks, special educational equipment and opportunities, smaller class sizes–all the things that improve education.

      Furthermore, public education is part of the foundation of a democratic system, since you have to have an educated and literate populace to run one. And it's the great equalizer–access to a good education means that no matter how poor you are, if you are intelligent and work hard, you can improve your life and the life of your family exponentially, beyond what would ever be possible if they had to pay for your education.

      I have to say, I'm a little unsympathetic to the idea that everyone who has some money to put towards their children's schooling should have the right to upgrade. It is NEVER going to be possible for the kids who live in trailer parks or are fed with food stamps to have this opportunity–if it were, then we would be willing to pour so much money into schooling that there would be no need to leave the public schools–which means they get left behind in a system that becomes progressively more unpopular to fund.

      And public education is bad enough for the poor right now. Jonathan Kozol makes this point, devastatingly, in his books about inner-city schools (such as 'Savage Inequalities'). To me, this issue is of much greater concern and a much higher priority for our educational dollars. I think we need to establish an acceptable baseline of a quality education for our poorest communities before we worry about school vouchers.

      In an absolutely abstract theoretical, I love the idea of private school being in reach for more people. But in practice, as long as it wasn't available to EVERYONE, it would be at the expense of the poorest people, and that's not only wrong, it's un-American.

  7. I personally would rather see all our taxpayer money going towards public school and make it better rather than being split between public and private schools and making the funds far less effective for either. Of course this assumes that states actually apply sufficient funding towards education in the first place, which doesn't seem to be happening these days.

  8. KBear says:

    I completely agree with what Tangerine & Steven Shuster have said. Finland, a country doing very well in education, only has public schools and (gasp) teachers are given tremendous authority rather than being forced to 'teach to the test.' See… for more information.

  9. ChayaFradle says:

    Many public school systems are headed by mafiosa type policies; for legal reasons, I can't explain. Just, trust me. I taught for 23 years in one of the largest districts in the United States and have seen and been told many, many horrifying things. What we need to do is stop the "self preservation" tactics and increase the "do what's best for the kids" tactics. Did you know that blaming teachers for their students not learning is insane? They are told what to do and teach by the administrators who nearly NEVER get called to task when things go wrong.

  10. ChayaFradle says:

    What matters mostly is what kind of positive rewards students receive for doing the right thing. Class size is also important, as is interactive teaching and a multiple learning modality approach.

  11. ChayaFradle says:

    By the way, when most of our politicians in congress block or impede efforts to improve our situations, they are giving themselves salaries they didn't earn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!