"I have taken your concerns into consideration."
I haven't seen it.
"The problem is vouchers is a black and white situation. Either you use a voucher program or not."
And my point is not that we shouldn't use them, but that they aren't a cure-all. Jesus, would you read what I write, please?
"I do understand that they are often at the expense of public school and I do understand that not all charter or private schools are good programs but I do have faith in a parent or parents who would use a voucher to monitor the progress and make changes according. This is not the case with a government funded public program where parents can and do check out."
Parents can and do check out of private schools and charter schools, too. Again, your idealism is just as strong as those who believe socialism should be fully embraced.
"Lots of parents simply can't avail themselves of the kinds of choices you're talking about. Time, distance, and necessary engagement in survival get in the way
#59 | POSTED BY PRAGMATIST
Condoms will fix that. Really if you want children they are not an accessory for Christmas. You accept responsibilities with children and education is one of the big ones and I know I'm playing to the choir, sorry."
Huh? You missed my entire point. There are responsible, good parents who simply cannot avail themselves of the kinds of choices you're talking about. They deserve good schools that are local.
"We need local schools that work.
#59 | POSTED BY PRAGMATIST
Yes but wishing it so has and will not fix things"
Then burn them all down and start over, I guess. Which is funny 'cause just last week you said you didn't want to disassemble the public school system.
PA, there are reforms that could work, IF all stakeholders would talk seriously. Your answer appears to be to offer other options, not to look at ways to fix the existing schools. Funny from a guy who wants to be on the school board.
"I don't see injecting parental responsibility, teacher accountability and school competition as idealistic I see it as the only alternative we have."
Your idea that just giving them choice will fix things is idealistic. Your idea that parents who get to choose will suddenly be more engaged is idealistic. There are plenty of parents who simply hand their kids off to private schools and to high-achieving public schools, just as to low-achieving public schools.
"We are entering a era of not increasing funding for education but decreasing funding and it will only be out of the box think that saves education and America in the process."
Duh. Okay, so there will be less funds? How then will vouchers be effective? Consistency?
"Thanks as always for the conversation Prag"
Sure. I have many opinions about public schools and schooling in general, buttressed by real-life experience as an adult working inside the system and trying to foment change. With serious will, we could in fact fix public schools. Unions, teachers, administrators, citizens, parents, and politicians (including school boards)--oh, and institutes of higher ed--all need to be ready and willing to talk about change. Nay, eager to do so. Your idea that simply offering choice will create the necessary groundswell of change--well, I just don't see it. Sure, some parents will bite (we do, but we have some money, we already raise our kids to care about education, AND we have a locally available private option, which one of our children attends, at least this year), but many will not be able to. I didn't say are too lazy to; I said won't be able to.