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More evidence reaffirms benefit of education vouchers

The obvious yet again has been confirmed – students educated at Catholic schools in Louisiana not only do far better in assessment of their learning than do students in the state’s public schools, but also do better than national averages. So when will the state’s public policy finally take advantage of this condition?

This past legislative session, not unlike other recent sessions, bills were offered to allow greater choice to students to attend private schools such as Catholic ones in order to take advantage of this. Despite knowing the advantages of this kind of education and despite the fact that the tuition charged by Catholic institutions (and in general at the national level all private schools) is significantly less than spending per pupil by public schools, in recent years while the Louisiana House has been progressive on this issue, the Senate has been the roadblock towards positive change by never allowing voucher legislation to come to a vote.

Why do private schools do a better job of educating than public schools in both effectiveness and efficiency terms? First, while private schools encounter many bureaucratic hurdles, public schools must deal with even more, wasting resources. This is a consequence of the second reason that with private schools educating is far and away the primary function of these schools, while public schools too often get enmeshed in other politicized goals such as “diversity” or “socialization.” Both of these reasons are related to the third, that in private education with less bureaucracy, fewer distractions, and, perhaps most importantly, reduction of union power (which care only for their members self-enrichment, not in the quality of education), the productivity level of teachers is much higher and they can be held much more accountable for their performances.

Naturally, teachers’ unions and other interests who harbor political agendas (such as getting their hands on as much money as possible for government education spending) that differ from providing quality education oppose vouchers precisely because they will interfere with those agendas. They trot out the same discredited arguments and myths time and time again that, unfortunately, have stalled the necessary reform of education vouchers in Louisiana.

Hopefully, this news – and the fact 2007 is an election year – will create more momentum to get state funding of education vouchers (beyond that of pre-kindergarten) enacted by the Legislature and signed by a governor who formerly was the member of a teacher’s union.


Anonymous said...

Yet another classic post by a voucher supporter attempting to villify the public schools, while at the same time leaving out some important details. Private schools CHOOSE who they allow into the schools, whereas public schools do not have such a luxury. If the public schools could simply boot out the "dead weight" as a private school does, do you think there would even be a disparity in the results?

Also, you play the union card as if all teachers follow the union line on all issues concerning education. A majority of teachers are not members of the union by choice, and have little to do with union activities. There already exists a huge shortage in quality young teachers nationwide, do you believe that removing the unions would actually turn that around? Who do you think is actually going to teach for LESS than teachers already make, without at least a little protection from unwarranted lawsuits by Susie's dad who is mad because she did not bring home an A in Chem?

Vouchers simply provide a way for those already attending public schools to get a break in the tuition, and do little to help out those "unmentionables" that are left to rot in an underfunded public school.

Davicker Civwohl said...

Protection for Suzy's dad is the only reason I am a member of the NEA. Actually I am more concerned about Suzy, herself, calling something foul.
Nobody is forced to join the teacher union. WE have a choice to join or not and there is nobody to shoot us if we do not.
As far as vouchers go...It is important to give more kids the opportunity to CHOOSE the school they will attend whether it be private or public. Often schools have varying resources even within the same town and if all of the kids of one city want to go to the same school perhaps there is something wrong with the others. And if there was something wrong with the others, perhaps low attendance will prompt a hiring of new teachers with diverse abilities.
Competition is what gives us lower prices and higher quality in commerce. Schools should be doing the same thing and the compitition should stay at that level.

Anonymous said...

"As far as vouchers go...It is important to give more kids the opportunity to CHOOSE the school they will attend whether it be private or public."

The catch is that the private schools do not have to accept the student with the voucher, so are you truly providing choice? The excuse for not accpeting the student could be as concrete as "we do not have the space", or as abstract as "you are not quite who we want in our building". Competition only works when everyone is playing by the same rules.

J.W.R Shreveport said...

I believe in school Vouchers. I believe every parent should have a choice in what kind of enviroment and structure their children are subjected to. We pay nore than our share in taxes but can not afford to send my child to a pivate/procial school where the bible, God, caring, sharing and respect for teachers and other students is not the normal accepted behavior and it would appear not in any shap or matter encouraged.
Where is American thanks to the self serving promoting groups (ACLU) fighting for the right of .005% of the population trampled on our rghts as well as the other 99% of the population. They succeded in getting God kicked out of schools. Forced their agenda on us and have ruined a whole generation of children. They are a narrow minded group of impiciles.
I personally have no more respect for that group and their warped little splinters than I do for their heroes Benedict Arnoldor Charles Darwin who one strongly believe their role model and leader.You are an evil presence to th 99% of US citizens that you revoked the rights of..