School Vouchers Blogswarm-NO to H.B. 148

School Voucher Blogswarm

On January 30th I posted my piece, School Vouchers-A Bad Idea. Today I offer this related post as part of a blog swarm on the topic which is being decided on in the Utah Legislature this year.

School vouchers is not a new concept, the first time being introduced in the 1950’s by Milton Friedman. Advocates of school vouchers claim that the quality of schools would improve due to increased competition because parents would be able to get such vouchers to send their children to schools that produce higher achievement scores.

The American Federation for Teachers presents this statement:
Vouchers don’t work. Smaller class size and proven academic programs do, and they are doable-tomorrow. Given a choice between serving ideology and maybe helping a relative handful of children-at the expense of the rest-or responding to the legitimate demands of the vast majority of Americans and serving the needs of all children, the choice is clear. Let’s do what’s right and what works.

Some other items for consideration are that you cannot compare private schools to public schools (that’s like comparing apples to oranges) for the simple fact that he higher level of academic performance in private schools is the result of “sample-selection bias”. (Private school students tend to come from wealthier households in which parents have higher levels of educational attainment.)

Pilot school voucher programs have shown little progress in achievement results. There are lots of statistics and arguments and perspectives out there on this issue. You can find a list of links to those at the Economics Resource Center.

My opinion as a professional and as a tax payer: NO to school vouchers. They are a bad idea and a bad precedent to set. Again our representatives are attempting to “fix” a system that is in serious need of “overhaul” – not in need of incentive to be more competitive.

Put our money where your mouths are. Work within our current public educational system to fix it. Smaller class sizes. More neighborhood schools. Smaller schools (not our warehouse high schools like we have here in Utah). Reform is needed. NOT school vouchers.

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