...whether or not voucher programs are benefiting the nations educational system it is clear that the benefits are not outweighing the risks. There is so much time and energy being spent on legal battles throughout the nation, when the federal Supreme Court has already declared that vouchers are within the rights of the Constitution (Garnet, 2005). It is pointless to waste so much time drawing attention to the legality of the school choice system and vouchers when you could be spending that time improving the implementation of the voucher programs across the nation, which would actually benefit the students (Manuel, 2006). In conclusion, voucher systems cannot be beneficial to students when they are not being effectively implemented and they cannot be effectively implemented when politicians and state leaders would rather argue than work together to improve the system.
She realized that choice and accountability were not the answer, but that curriculum and instruction were more viable solutions to America’s educational dilemma. Ravitch suggests that to abandon public schools is to abandon the institution that supports our concepts of democracy and citizenship and to the promise of American life (Ravitch, 2011, p. 12-14). The idea of school choice is rooted in Milton Friedman’s essay concerning the government’s role in education. Friedman asserted that society should support and contribute to the maximum freedom of the individual or the family. He maintained that the government should provide vouchers to help support parents financially on their children’s education, which parents could use at the school of their choosing; so long as the school met set standards. Therefore, this creation of choice would stimulate competition, which Friedman believed would increase the development and improvement of nonpublic schools, as well as, create a variety of school options (Ravitch, 2011, p. 115). As a result of the choice movement, the public received three versions of school choice: voucher schools, private schools, and charter schools. Each of these schools receives public funding, but do not operate as traditional public schools, and are not managed by a government agency (Ravitch, 2011, p. 121). Charter schools became the most popular choice of this new
WestEd. (1999). What we know about vouchers the facts behind the rhetoric. Available: http://www.WestEd.org. Last accessed 16th Mar 2011.
Leaming, J. (n.d.). Voucher programs propt debate over meaning of separation of church and state. Retrieved March 12, 2011, from www.freedomforum.org: http://www.freedomforum.org/packages/first/schoolvouchers/part2.htm
The charter school program aimed to allocate educational resources via market mechanism by shifting towards freedom of contract. However, the plan unfairly mixes individual decision making with the expenditure of public tax dollars. Moreover, the competition through which legislators sought to improve education throughout state schools has failed to materialize as students enrolled in Michigan charter schools remain a drop in the bucket.
Control of the public education system has been left to the State for most of the country’s history, it was not until the 1950’s that the federal government played a role in categorical programs, but the national government refrained from involvement in academics until the 90’s. Three days after taking up his position in office, George Bush announced his plan for the No Child Left Behind act (NCLB) which was a consolidated reform of the 1962 Elementary and Secondary Education Act or ESEA (McGuinn, p. 1). ESEA focused on providing resources for the underprivileged students, whereas the NCLB act focuses on all students in public schools. On January 8, 2002, the No Child Left Behind act was enacted. The law enlarged federal education spending, required states to design and administer proficiency test to all students grades three and up, demanded that States put qualified teachers in every class room, and promised to hold all States accountable for the performance of their public schools (McGuinn, p. 1).
Most educators and parents would desire an educational system where all students receive a balanced education that will afford all students the ability to compete in our ever changing society. This desire is great among students who live in economically challenged environments and those who attend poor schools. These students are at most risk of receiving a a proper education. This is partly due to lack of funding, and the inability for those poor schools to afford highly qualified teachers. Much controversy stems from this issue, poor schools not being able to afford highly trained teachers, students not having access to improved curriculums and extraordinary dropout rates. In an effort to combat these issues, the Bush administration implemented an act that purported to help schools to receive necessary funding for qualified teachers and to close the racial and ethnic gaps, known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA). However, the NCLBA failed to deliver on its promises and left already struggling schools and children in disarray attempting to reach government mandates rather than ensuring a balanced education for every student.
Education reform in the United States has recently come under scrutiny after many recent failed proposals. President George W. Bush implemented one of the most popular choices of education reform with his “No Child Left Behind” system. However, that policy reform in the past five years has faded to nothing more than a mistake. This mistake has haunted the education systems in America, but it is not the only reform proposal to shake up the school systems across the States. One new proposal that has caught the eye of some current state politicians is the idea of school choice. School choice is giving the option to parents to take their children to different schools, which is different from assigning children to schools based on the location of their houses. Does giving the parents of children an option to choose what school their child goes to create a spirit of competition? That is partly the goal with the school choice reform policy proposal along with many other facets that can completely revitalize the education system in the United States. The stipulations of this proposal involve a variety of suggestions to help strengthen the core of our education system.
Title I, Part A, headlined "Closing the Achievement Gap for Disadvantaged Students," shows that America has am emphasis on true democratic ideals. There is an obvious oppression that is keeping all students in America from having the same starting point, which inhibits America acting as a true free market society. Some children are destined to failure due to where they get their education. President Bush and his advisors show that this is their main focus on NCLB in a few different ways. The first can be seen by it being the focus of Part A of the Title I (Bush, 2002). The second can be seen by how they have made it mandatory for states to develop a "system of sanctions and rewards to hold districts and schools accountable for improving academic achievement" (Bush 2002). Another way the Bush administration makes it clear that schools need to focus their efforts on reducing the achievement gap is by the provision in Title I where students in failing schools must be offered public school choice, while disadvantaged students will be offered assistance in making a switch from a failing school (Bush 2002). This emphasis on clos...
Since 1983 public education has been an issue in America. The system has been constantly changing every year with reforms. This constant change has been driven by the American people’s perception that education has declined and something should be done about it. First there was an increased emphasis on basic skills, making school years longer and more graduation requirements. Second, many began focusing on increasing teachers professionalism. Third, they began restructuring many things such as how the schools were organized and how the school day was structured etc. Now today the most of the American people believe that not enough money is given to public schooling. They associate academic improvement with the money the school is funded. But I believe otherwise. Spending more on education will not improve academic success but diverse teaching methods will.