“We are letting parents decide what’s best for their children, not government.”
Parents are usually the problem.[/quote]
Sometimes. Not usually. In my experience anyway.
Also, I think we will have a few different problems. The parent’s who think the kids are special little snowflakes will take their kids to private schools. Those parents are usually engaged but deluded. That is a (lesser) problem, but not the problem that I think will come from vouchers.
The “problem parents” are the ones who don’t give a shit. The “whatever” parents that Kamui was referring to above. These kids tend to have MORE problems and eat up MORE resources. [/quote]
I agree with this.
Apathy is the worst ill of education. Level of parental involvement and sense of responsibility are large pieces of student success.
I would argue that parents are not the problem per se, but the lack of involvement.
For those that think the teachers know what’s best for the student, you’ll have to let me know how you feel when you have kids in the school system. One of my kid’s teachers thinks that 2 hours of repetitive homework every for a skill that the kid has mastered is required. We had a talk, and it turns out that the parent (cough) knew that assigning less, but more challenging work benefits the student more than ‘busy work’ assigned so that the teacher can deal with the “inclusive” children.
I would argue that “inclusion” laws (ie. those that require problem students be included in otherwise normal functioning classrooms) has diminished the quality of education as much as anything. I’m am speaking from the experience of my wife as an elementary school educator and other family members/friends as well.
The voucher system isn’t perfect, but it does allow the money to travel where families feel it is best for their family. For those that will show their ignorance of ‘religious’ school education, our Catholic School and local Christian Schools out perform every public school in the state in every subject, including science. Several years ago they stopped testing against the local schools and opted for a regional test because the public schools are failing so bad.
Lose the bigotry.
Oh, and student/classroom cost is about 1/3 of the public schools…[/quote]
You are making good points and this is in large part why I like vouchers and charter schools. I think it comes from simply liking “specialization.” That said, we as a society do need to watch out for too much “tracking” from an early age…but I think that should primarily be a job for parents.
I “kinda” understand inclusion, but I think that those kids then need to be allowed to fail or be given a different grading requirements. That said, “hiding away” certain populations isn’t the problem either. I’ve seen some schools where special needs kids are in the school, some participate in A FEW classes, and some are only in the special needs area. That seems about right to me. Can a student who is “a little slow” sit through a class? Sure. But the teacher shouldn’t “teach down” to the kids.
Private schools do better with less, normally. Personally, I think that is primarily because of parental involvement not because private schools have some sort of “magic.” When you are paying thousands a year for little Billy to go to school… “he’d better damn do well/take advantage!!” If Louisiana passes this, I hope that private schools can maintain the level of parental involvement. That will mean a world of difference, I think.
Anyway, I think I’m pretty much just completely agreeing with SteelyD with different words. I do have concerns about vouchers, but I think it’s time a state tries. This is especially true in states that are achieving poorly. I guess my opinion is it’s kinda like training…the best training program won’t do shit if there isn’t intensity involved, and some bad programs can have great results with lots of intensity. Here is to hoping that Louisiana puts a lot of “intensity” into it.