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Vouchers and School Choice - It's Time for School Choice

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It's Time for School Choice

The oft sounded death knell for our nation's public schools can be heard everywhere from the breakfast conversations of Main Street diners to the committee rooms and corridors of our nation's capitol. Citing sagging test scores and the overwhelming disparity in quality among schools, many argue that something has gone dreadfully wrong with our nation's public schools. They fret that the very notion of the American Dream might be founded on increasingly shaky ground.

Despite these dire words, public education is not a lost battle. Though the situation in rural and urban areas might be considered desperate, the system is certainly salvageable. Indeed, school choice programs might offer the nation's public schools a chance for salvation. By increasing school choice, not only would more educational avenues be opened up for disadvantaged youths, the standard of education offered by schools for all students would be raised. Choice programs would allow market forces to clean-up the public schools - streamlining them, making them more efficient, and perhaps even telling schools unable to shape up to "ship out."

However, critics argue vehemently that school choice programs essentially mean an abandonment of traditional public education. Instead of market forces raising the level of all schools, they fear that choice programs would further stratify our nation's schools, widening the gap between the privileged and the disadvantaged. To the opposition, school choice programs are little more than cleverly dressed up programs promising hope to disadvantaged members of society but, instead, merely entrenching the well-connected and well-informed deeper into their positions of luxur...

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...ol visit prior to making their school selection.

The success of the White Plains program lies in the fact that it has successfully woven the positive elements of traditional choice ideology with solutions to traditional choice objections. It actively seeks to give every student a fair chance at education, placing accountability squarely on the shoulders of educators and power in the hands of parents - where it belongs. Thus, it stands as a shining example of how school choice initiatives can positively benefit school districts and, more importantly, students across the country. Done correctly, school choice is able to preserve those things we love most about our public schools while at the same time fostering a bold, new educational climate of involved, contemplative parents and educators. That's a future I think we would all like to see.
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