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No. of Recommendations: 62
I live in a red state and hardly ever see any political ads. That's a good thing (except for the living in a red state part). So I only see ads on sites like this or if cable political shows air them. I really liked this ad and thought I would share.

Romney to teacher "I didn't ask you a question"
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/22/1135384/-Romney-to-...
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Romney: "I understand there is a teacher here today, which one of you is a teacher?"

So, I raised my hand, thinking that's a good thing, he's interested in education, but it wasn't a good thing. I felt like his view was a little old-fashioned and I was surprised by it. He went on to kind of lecture me about schools and how bad they are. He talked bad about the teacher's union. He was talking about the importance of private schools and voucher systems.

At one point, I said to him, "I have an answer for that." And he said, "I didn't ask you a question."
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This is an aside, but this is one thing I do not understand: why are so many people against a 'voucher' system? I am a teacher, and from my understanding of vouchers, I actually think this is a good way to help many students/families make their own choices. Maybe some of the semi-voucher systems introduced till now were not well designed or implemented, but I think those could be looked at and modified.

Icemann

P.S. I have been actually viscerally attacked by a couple of teachers for asking what was wrong with the idea of a voucher system, so I know it is a sensitive subject.
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My problem with a voucher system is would there be some controls over the schools and what they teach.

I live in a little town. Only one public school. There is a small private school. I'm not sure what would happen to the public school if there was a voucher system and the students/parents could choose the private school.

I don't know if vouchers should be able to be used at religious schools.

I don't understand why this would be a sensitive issue.

Jean
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I thought with voucher systems, you are taking your 'portion' of education money and going to another school with it regardless of whether it was an independent (private) or public school. In the private school case, the individual would still have to come up with the other portion of the fees. The schools would still have to deliver the curriculum expected by that school district. But then again, I could be wrong there.

As to religious schools; not being religious myself, I really do not mind if religious schools participate as long as they cover the curriculum that the local school boards demand. As long as they do that, I feel they should be allowed to teach whatever else they wish under their mission.

I think that vouchers are a sensitive issue because of the idea of schools would become 'rated' which would lead to teachers being 'rated'. I do not support the idea of 'rating' teachers. I know that teachers I disliked immensely in high school and lower often were the ones I realized had done the most for me later in life. I think that there are worries everyone would leave certain schools leaving fewer jobs (I guess.) I am not sure about that. I am sure of the reaction I got when I said I thought voucher systems could work.

Icemann
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I think when most people think of private school they think of the expensive ones.


The private school my kid went to was WAY cheaper than public school. It was a few years ago, but I paid $1200 a year. At the time I think the public school received about $4000 per student, IIRC

The building was donated. The teacher's assistants were volunteers and the teachers were paid much less than the ones at the public school. (There was only 6 students in my kids class.) No retirement or health insurance. The biggest thing was they could refuse to take a student.

I don't think the number of jobs would change. As I noted there could be a difference in pay and non-union schools. I do see that the public schools, who must allow all children in, could be left with only difficult students.

Maybe it's sensitive because they aren't comfortable saying they'd be left with the difficult to educate students.

Jean
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" I'm not sure what would happen to the public school if there was a voucher system and the students/parents could choose the private school."

My parents sent all five of us to private school, thru grade school, and only one of us made the choice continue on to a private high school. NO VOUCHERS for us.

Anyone that wants a good school, cheap, can go ROTC.
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No. of Recommendations: 68
I think that vouchers are a sensitive issue because of the idea of schools would become 'rated' which would lead to teachers being 'rated'.

Jeanwa touched on what I think is the biggest opposition--that private schools can choose their students; public schools can't.

When you look at the best private schools, one of the main reasons they post such excellent results is that they have "cream skimmed" the excellent students. The excellent students most likely have college-educated parents who push them to learn and help them with outside of school learning experiences.

Meanwhile, the public school has to take everyone. The voucher system would likely be a disaster for public schools, leaving them only with the students who perform the worst and cause the most problems.

There might be an argument that the voucher could also be a ticket from a "bad" school to a "good" school. However, it is clear that parental involvement is a huge factor. "Good" parents will go out of their way to make sure their kids go to "good" schools; "bad" parents won't care.

So, the fear is that the public school would end up like an insurance plan with only sick people enrolled--doomed to failure.

There is also legitimate resistance to vouchers being used to support religious institutions. I would have a big problem with my tax dollars being used to fund a nationwide chain of Bob Jones High Schools.
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Vouchers = poorly paid teachers with few or no benefits

Poorly paid teachers with few or no benefits = less purchasing of goods and services from American companies (and fewer bright students going into teaching)

Less purchasing of goods and services from American companies = a poorly performing economy
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Because vouchers will be a step in misusing public funds to help fund religious schools.

Ken
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AND in efficiently decreases funds available for the public schools as well such that the public school students suffer.

Ken
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Maybe it's sensitive because they aren't comfortable saying they'd be left with the difficult to educate students.

_____________

Oddly enough when I was growing up it was the difficult students who went to private schools. The problem IMO is that public schools don't want to be compared to private ones. Students opting out of bad public schools shines a light on the problem...the schools are bad.

If public schools did their job properly there wouldn't be a need for private ones. Just like if the Post Office was better run there would be no need for UPS or FedEx. Afterall the Post Office is cheaper than those two, but not nearly as reliable.
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Oddly enough when I was growing up it was the difficult students who went to private schools.

I can speak to that being a teacher in a private school. We have many students with full IEPs (independent educational plans) due to behavioural and medical issues; kids who no longer make it in the public system for whatever reason; and 'unusual' kids who have a hard time socially quite often. And we have about 99% of our graduates go on to post-secondary education - usually university or college - sometimes 2-year diploma ones.

Some of the points in this thread are very good. Thanks.

Icemann
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No. of Recommendations: 2
This is an aside, but this is one thing I do not understand: why are so many people against a 'voucher' system? I am a teacher, and from my understanding of vouchers, I actually think this is a good way to help many students/families make their own choices. Maybe some of the semi-voucher systems introduced till now were not well designed or implemented, but I think those could be looked at and modified.

Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it:

Segregation academies (also called seg academies) are private schools in the United States that functioned during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s as a way for white parents to avoid the desegregation of public schools as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education. Because Brown did not apply to private schools, the creation of segregation academies was a way to keep segregation intact. While these schools were mainly found in the Southern United States, they existed nationwide. In recent years, as social patterns in United States have changed, many of these private schools began to admit minority students; others have ceased to exist. Still others in regions such as the Mississippi Delta continue to operate with few, if any, black students.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segregation_academies
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Because vouchers will be a step in misusing public funds to help fund religious schools.

But one doesn't have to make a voucher system allow vouchers to be applied to private schools. A big problem is there's little public school-choice outside of moving, since what public school a child goes to is determined by where they live. Uncouple that and allow students/families to pick which public school in the area they go to, and now schools have to provide a competitively good education to get picked.

I think teachers are against this because it would force something to be done about failing schools and poor teachers.
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No. of Recommendations: 81
If public schools did their job properly there wouldn't be a need for private ones. Just like if the Post Office was better run there would be no need for UPS or FedEx. Afterall the Post Office is cheaper than those two, but not nearly as reliable.

This is essentially the point. It isn't that the Post Office is poorly run, it is that they are required to do something that FedEx and UPS would never sign up for:

The USPS is created as a government agency under Title 39, Section 101.1 of the United States Code which states, in part:


(a) The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/consumerawareness/a/uspsabout....

If the Postal Service could focus only on profitable business like UPS and FedEx, it would be a different story. Instead, they need to have the infrastructure to provide postal service for every address in the country for all types of correspondence. In a decade when written correspondence is diminishing, it is easy to see how the Postal Service is currently facing challenges.

So, the Postal Service is like a public school. They have to accept everyone--whatever the financial background of the parents, behavior or acedemic abilities of the kids--the doors of the public school need to remain open.

The private school can pick and choose and only accept "profitable" students.
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lindytoes wrote: He went on to kind of lecture me about schools and how bad they are.

Well, they are.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/us-students-still-l...

There is no sin greater in a presidential race than telling the truth. Romney is being excoriated for accurately describing the situation in America today.

As for "lecturing" you, well, you're an Obama supporter, right? NATURALLY, you would perceive Romney's comments as "lecturing." You came to the event with a pre-conceived notion.
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If public schools did their job properly there wouldn't be a need for private ones. Just like if the Post Office was better run there would be no need for UPS or FedEx. Afterall the Post Office is cheaper than those two, but not nearly as reliable.
============================
????? - Not nearly as reliable?

If you're not home when they come, UPS will leave a package ON YOUR FRONT STEP, for all the world to see, even if it's got a great big DELL on the box, inviting every thief in town. The Postal Service will leave a card, telling you to come to the post office and pick it up.

The Postal Service is losing far more business due to email, and e-filing of tax documents, than to FedEx and UPS. Priority Mail is just as good as those two, AND cheaper.

Bill
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There might be an argument that the voucher could also be a ticket from a "bad" school to a "good" school. However, it is clear that parental involvement is a huge factor. "Good" parents will go out of their way to make sure their kids go to "good" schools; "bad" parents won't care.

=====================================

This is an argument for vouchers. If a person trying to be a good parent, but lower income, they currently don't have a choice of bad or good school.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
As to religious schools; not being religious myself, I really do not mind if religious schools participate as long as they cover the curriculum that the local school boards demand.



They don't. They teach that a magic man in the sky created the world 6000 years ago.
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I understand there is a teacher here today...

Glad you posted this, Linda.

I'm usually very careful about allowing myself to be too influenced by hearsay. In this case though, I can certainly imagine Mr CEO talking down to a teacher.

And I'm sick and tired of hearing Republicans complain about our schools and blaming all of the problems on the teachers.....then having the nerve to propose skrewing the profession every chance they get.

So sad to see the ignorance.

Jack
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No. of Recommendations: 9
Just like if the Post Office was better run there would be no need for UPS or FedEx. Afterall the Post Office is cheaper than those two, but not nearly as reliable.

Some interesting statistics you may not be aware of when making the USPS vs FedEx example:


-- 30.4% of FedEx Ground shipments are delivered by the United States Postal Service.

-- 8.4% of FedEx Ground revenue is generated by shipments delivered by the Postal Service

-- FedEx SmartPost Shipments delivered by the Postal Service Grew by 17.0%

http://cepobserver.com/2011/12/fedex-uses-usps-for-30-4-of-g...

Perhaps you want to take another run at that one.

Speck
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No. of Recommendations: 2
This is an argument for vouchers. If a person trying to be a good parent, but lower income, they currently don't have a choice of bad or good school.

It is an argument for vouchers for some people.

What you do with the people left behind in a failing school with diminished resources is a very real problem. Taking away their funding, reducing the number of better students, leaving only underperforming students behind is not going to help.

Obviously, societal issues like this are never easy to solve. However, other nations have worked their way up from the middle of the international rankings to the top.

Here is a good story on how Finland went from being one of the mediocre countries in Europe 40 years ago to being next to Singapore and South Korea in international testing today (the top 3 in the world).
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/Why-Are-Finlands...

Obviously, there is more than one way to cross the road. Vouchers might be a good solution for America, but I would want to see convincing data that vouchers produce better results for everyone involved.

In my searches into studies on the subject, I can find several papers which say the results for children who change schools have higher scores than the children in the schools they left behind.

I cannot find anything which details what happens to the kids left behind--Did their results go up, down, or remain the same?

I also cannot find a study where the students were randomly chosen--all of the studies I've seen involve parents who were active enough in their children's education to make the change.

On a secondary note, I also think that the American educational system needs significant reform to make skilled trades a more widely available avenue for development. There are millions of people who are not acedemically skilled, who are mechanically talented. Have you ever tried to hire a machinist, welder, plumber, finish carpenter? Hard to find in the U.S.
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The private school can pick and choose and only accept "profitable" students.


This statement applies to all the things that republicans want to privatize, and it exposes the gaping hole left behind, that not every endeavor can or should be profitable. I expect the republican answer is that if you are not profitable you are screwed.
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As to religious schools; not being religious myself, I really do not mind if religious schools participate as long as they cover the curriculum that the local school boards demand.



They don't. They teach that a magic man in the sky created the world 6000 years ago.



More Koolaid misinformation

To be eligible for state and federal funding, Charter Schools (including the evil Christian schools) must follow the local school board curriculum and may not discriminate based on race or religion.
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If public schools did their job properly there wouldn't be a need for private ones.

If parents did their job properly, we wouldn't have to use public schools as scapegoats.

It might surprise a lot of teacher-bashers, but actually in this country, private schools underperform public schools, if you adjust for the socio-economic status of their students. Private schools don't have to educate everybody who walks through their gates, whereas public schools have to teach a diverse range of students, many with extreme learning challenges. Certainly, there are many excellent private schools and many poor public schools. But private schools do not have to use credentialed teachers, and there are also many, many underperforming private schools that don't get much attention.

The demographic subgroups that flourish - irrespective of the educational context - are whites and Asians. It's not hard to show better testing results when that's all you've got at an expensive private school. But the public schools that match the private school demographic do slightly better in virtually all subjects (these studies are easily googled). Private school students might enjoy better facilities, and they might enjoy a more wealthy and less diverse peer demographic. But they're not getting better teachers or better learning opportunities.
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