Choice and/or School Vouchers

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Pashtun, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    And if the only option other than a failing public school is that parochial school and the family is too poor to afford to pay the tuition you would then doom them to a failed education. You can repeat the argument as many times as you want - it is still discriminatory.
     
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  2. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    So my question still stands rockguy. If the parents of behavior problem students want their children to go to the good parochial school are they given that opportunity? Or would that be discriminatory?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    If every family is given a choice with their education dollars, it isn't the government in the business of what you call indoctrination. The constitution is written such that the government can't force people to practice a religion not that it must protect people from religion.

    I'd also be very careful with your words, Peregrin5. You don't like people saying offensive things about your views, but when it comes to religion you are very free with your insults.
     
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  4. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Why? If the government gives the family control over how they want their child educated, shouldn't any stated and/or private accredited school be acceptable? It isn't the government forcing a student to go to a religious school.
     
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  5. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    It surprises me a lot that many of these conservative politicians are so much for vouchers. That's essentially subsidizing the education of poorer students by the taxpayers (that pay more taxes). Also, with giving some kids vouchers to these parochial schools or overal better schools, you're still not solving the problem of the failing school. Not every kid can move on to a better school (there wouldn't be room for everyone). What about the kids left behind?
     
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  6. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    jadore, what do you propose?

    I know schools can be improved even if the claim it is poverty, family structure, etc that is the problem because a local elementary school is one of the top schools in the area. Guess what didn't change? The families and students did not change. Amazingly, the school's performance is in line with the wealthier schools in the areas. What changed? The administration and most of the teachers changed. How they taught the students changed. They also got grants to have after-school programs to give additional support to students. No teacher or administrator lost their job in this change. They were shuffled to other schools where parents were the ones pulling the wagon when the kids struggled.

    The school a few miles down the road that gave lip service to fixing the problem still struggles and insists it is the kids and the lack of family support.

    I agree, schools can do a lot to improve education, but few decide to do what is necessary.
     
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  7. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I think there is a strong belief that private schools do not allow any behavior problems. This is usually not true. Actually this untruth greatly helps private schools to be viewed as this haven without behavior problems. I know where I work this is far from true.

    Two wrongs don't make a right. If it is discriminatory and wrong to exclude behavior problems, that doesn't make it correct to exclude children whose parents who don't have enough money to pay for tuition. I agree with Rockguy on this one.
     
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  8. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    I propose more funding, however it has to be in the right way and not go into the hands of corruption. In NJ, high poverty schools receive more funding. Of course not in all cases do the schools perform better, but it's possible. Elizabeth high school is part of a district that is very high needs, however was #18 in 2015 in terms of performance, won a blue ribbon award,
    and it offers different academies and vocational tracks. So it can be done...
     
  9. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Who pays for this though? The other parents and taxpayers who are paying full tuition.
     
  10. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    So one wrong does make a right?

    I don't understand. So it is discriminatory to exclude parents from receiving vouchers to go to a private school, but it is not discriminatory to exclude certain children from going to a private school with a voucher?

    It is not about allowing "any" behavior problems. It is about allowing all students whose parents want their children to go to a "better" school. My question is about which types of students are actually allowed to go to the "better" school?
     
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  11. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Let's take the vouchers our of the equation. Some say it's fine and dandy for people to pay for private schools on their own, but isn't public school still for the worse without these more passionate families rooting for change?

    If it's so wrong for families to want "better" why not just ban homeschooling and private schools?
     
  12. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Of course. I've never said they shouldn't be.

    That said, equating discrimination based on income to that based on behavioral choices is kind of silly. I, and the Constitution, are more than willing to be discriminatory toward criminals, for example.
     
  13. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    The more children that go into private schools, the less amount of families there will be caring about public schools. And that still doesn't fix public schools. There's just less money and more problems. They just become dumping grounds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  14. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    I believe that was Backroads' exact point.

    If pulling concerned, interested families and students harms public schools then, by that logic, shouldn't homeschooling and private schools just be eliminated entirely?
     
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  15. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Ok. I am not saying you did Rockguy, I am simply asking a question that goes back to my original thoughts.

    Let me be clear on my stance so it is not taken out of context on a forum. I really have no strong stance on for or against vouchers. I am trying to understand why some are in favor of them in terms of improving our education system.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    The more children we can help to get a good education--the better. Currently the rich can go to private schools and the poor can't as they can't afford it. At our school all students regardless of race, religion, SES, neighborhood, or behavior can attend. The only ones that are excluded are the ones who can't afford to pay. I feel it would be best if $$ wouldn't be the thing stopping someone from attending a school.

    Could public schools be hurt by this process? Yes, so I agree that must be taken into account.
     
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  17. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    IMO, it has nothing to do with a parent wanting better for their child. It has to do with what happens if a large amount of parents want better for their kids, their kids are huge behavior issues at the "bad" school, do you really believe that on the whole, these "good" schools are going to be able to handle the behavior issues?

    I see no evidence of this at all. In fact, I could see many many families being extremely upset, moving their children, once the behavior issue pick up after the first month.
     
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  18. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Same. I have yet to hear a very strong and convincing argument for vouchers. Yes they may be great for some kids, but that isn't solving the overall problem. And realistically not all kids can benefit. If we're going to spend all this money on moving kids around and giving families money to attend other schools, why not put all that effort and money into the poorer schools and turning them around? Politicians think schools will just improve on their own through osmosis by increasing testing and decreasing funding. They'll just improve on their own with all the competition of other higher performing schools. Right.
     
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  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yeah, I am not opposed to this at all. My stance, at least at this point, is hahahahaha, those private schools, if they receive a real influx of the "real" issues, are going to get eaten alive. I just have no reason to believe that if the demographics of the "bad" school was changed with the population of the "great" school that the "great" school would continue being "great". I really suspect their would be an immediate reversal.

    Personally, I don't care if public schools are hurt, if it is better for the children in our education system.
     
  20. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So what are we doing to combat behavior issues in public schools? To confirm that behavior issues are immediately as possible fixed, that they don't become a distraction? We all have stories of a class robbed of education time because of one behavior problem kid.

    Do public school really handle it better than a private school without a zero tolerance party would?
     
  21. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Especially if the idea is that the private schools are doing things "better". Learn from them and apply it to the public schools.....or is the deep down dirty secret, is that private schools are not doing it better, they simply have control over the student population, whether overtly or covertly? Where as the bad public school, is very simply, getting the all the students I the neighborhood.

    I still see this issue as one school chooses who attends versus one school tries to provide an education for anyone and everyone in the neighborhood.
     
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  22. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    In a perfect world, there wouldn't be private schools. By improving public schools, less families would feel the need to send their kids to private or home school.

    What I'm not a fan of is dumping all the poor and/or behavioral kids in one place. Having more diversity never hurt anyone. I'm more for school choice within the public school system than vouchers because I don't think taking more money from taxpayers and the public schools is the answer. Where I went to high school was very diverse and it was lower performing than the other high school in the district, and was considered the "worse" school. If they changed the boundaries and moved kids around, there'd be more equity (and maybe kids would perform better being surrounded by more motivated students). But the families at the "better" school wouldn't have any of that.
     
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  23. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    IMO, now we are talking about the real issue.
    What is a zero tolerance policy at a public school?

    See, imo, a zero tolerance policy is EXACTLY why charter/choice/private schools look great. Theeir zero tolerance policy is " sorry, it is not working out here, good look back at your "bad" school".

    Can public schools really function this way?
     
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  24. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    No. it is very difficult to expel a student. Where are they going to go? Alternative school I guess but they will come back. You cannot deny a kid an education. A private school can.
     
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  25. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    That is my point. Expelling the student doesn't change the situation, the alternative school is just another ring down the ladder, the alternative school becomes the "bad" school.

    Are parents of children at the alternative schools offered vouchers? They may just want a better learning environment for their children...

    This is where I struggle, vouchers do not seem to address the real issues, it seems that private/choice/charter schools just continue to have overt and covert control over the clientele. Status quo.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  26. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Honestly I'm more changing the system by proving more options for students. Every student has different needs and not all are college bound. We are living on the assumption that every child should go to college. That's unrealistic. By giving students different tracks or options to finish school, I think you'll reach more students. Providing vocational options for students who aren't interested in academia would be awesome. Of course I believe everyone should have basic knowledge of most things when they finish high school (like being able to read and write properly in English), but I think there can be different graduation requirements for different tracks. They have a system like this in other countries in Europe, and students can come out of high school with a job and a purpose. I think finding ways to motivate kids and providing them with means to be successful and productive in school and then the real world is best. Maybe we'd have less behavioral issues too. This concentration on testing is absurd. A one size fits all hasn't worked and it's not ever going to.

    For my current school, the current system works because almost all students have plans to attend college. Where I attended high school, this was not the case for over half the students, and there were many more behavioral problems and apathy.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
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  27. Backroads

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    I teach at a public charter and we have no such zero tolerance. It's hard to expel a kid at my school. of course, mileage may vary.

    Rather than pride on keeping kids, public schools need to be able to guarantee behavior issue kids don't affect the school and education.

    For good or for worse, a school that can boot people out for trouble can at least make that promise.
     
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  28. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Agreed. But how did that work? How does booting large numbers of students out not create the same issues. If you boot bad behavior kids out, where do they go? The streets? Or to the next ring on the ladder?...the next "Bad" school?

    Problem still exists, just moved it.

    Edit: if booting behavior issues out more easily and quickly is the solution, why not address that instead of vouchers? Why not change the "laws or rules" and just make expulsion an easier process? "I am sorry it is not working out here, good luck"
     
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  29. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    That's a really strong reaction. It makes me wonder if you are invested in the for-profit charter industry. Her research threatens the charters that avoid accountability, waste taxpayer money and use attrition to weed out students who are difficult to teach.

    Can you give me an example of poor academic research on the part of Dr. Ravitch? I have found her writings full of careful documentation and would urge members of this board to read her books and follow her blog.
     
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  30. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Booting kids out and not giving them other options just perpetuates the problem with crime and drugs. Kicking kids out on the streets is not the answer. they do have to go somewhere.
     
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  31. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Behavior problems must be adequately addressed in all schools. And I do feel this may mean denying some students the same school environment as others.
     
  32. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    And this may be ok, as long as one calls it what it is. IMO, this invalidates the voucher program and the idea of placing blame on "bad" schools(the school not doing something adequately), it reframes it to "you are going to the bad school, because that it where you belong" It admits the problem, in this case, which is student behavior and you are isolating them in a similar way to prisons.

    This is not my stance on what we should do, just my interpretations from the conversation to date.
     
  33. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I see it as a least restrictive environment-type similarity. If your behavior prevents you and others from ideal learning, is it the best place for you?
     
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  34. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    OK.
    So is moving the student with a behavior issue into a school with only other behavior issues solving the learning problem for this student? Is that the least restrictive environment for that student?

    Or did you mean moving the well behaving students to another school with only well behaving students provide the least restrictive environment for the well behaving students?
     
  35. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Other than some grants for after-school programs, the school that improved didn't get any additional funding than they did when they were failing. They still had their Title 1 funds then and now. It wasn't money that mattered. It was choices and ability of the administration and teachers that mattered.
     
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  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    But sometimes better isn't academically better but it is behaviorally better. It may be better emotionally for a student to be in a school where students perform equally academically but there is not chaos in the classroom or the fear of getting bullied, beat, or other such nonsense.
     
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  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Well, what's the focus of school? To learn. Most teachers and the averse school isn't equipped to eliminate behavior problems.
    Why should kids share a classroom with a kid with severe behavior problems no one guarantee won't harm them? Why is it okay to deny the behavior issue kids professional environment?

    You can't criticize voucher folks who want their kids away from severe behavior problems without having a way to promise behavior won't take up much of classtime.

    If a kid''s behavior is severely impacting school, how does it build up the school to just leave him there without an effective plan with both long-term and short-term results?
     
  38. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Right, I am not disagreeing with this. But what about the students who are not behaving.

    This issue seems to keep coming back to helping students who want to learn, to GET AWAY, from students who do not want to learn. I am trying to figure out how this is helping us improve the situations for those students who do not at this time want to learn.

    So how does putting kids with behavior issues into schools with behavior issues and chaos, help these students to improve both academically and behaviorally?

    Again, if the point of vouchers is to get good students into good schools, vouchers is a waste of time, imo. Simply designate schools within a district to receive all of the well behaved students interested in academics. This has nothing to do with public versus private, this has to do with openly deciding who goes to which schools.
     
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  39. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Right, so vouchers are not helping solve the issues. It is not public versus private. It is overtly or covertly determining who is able to go to what school.

    Private, choice, charter schools are not "better" they simply have the means to decide which students fit the profiles they want at their schools?
     
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  40. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I agree. Yet in that defense, being able to have a class full of kids who want to be there and are willing to act like it creates, generally, a great learning atmosphere.

    Kids who don't want to learn? Can any power make them want to learn? Why should their desire to not learn beat our the rest?
     
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