View Full Version : School vouchers: For or against?


tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 03:58 AM
Yeah, so... discuss. I can't believe I haven't seen this on the board yet.

Houdini
07-07-2002, 04:01 AM
4

Houdini
07-07-2002, 04:02 AM
against

Houdini
07-07-2002, 04:02 AM
4

Houdini
07-07-2002, 04:03 AM
against

Houdini
07-07-2002, 04:03 AM
***

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 04:05 AM
Against. They take public school/tax money and fund private/religious schools even. Tax money isn't for private ventures. I know you are gonna use that money for your private school rich boy frat keggers tweedyburd you son of a bitch!

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 04:21 AM
Heh, I love how your imagination works, Mayfuck.

I've heard the first amendment argument a lot, and it has problems on several levels. One, the money doesn't necessarily go to religious schools only--it's the parent's choice. And the money is not funneled directly to any school, again, it's parent's choice. The parent acts as median between the two, thus there is no direct link between church and state even if they do send their child to a religious school.

And to quote an excellent essay from The New Republic:

"School choice critics counter that, while the programs look neutral, they really aren't, because most of the funds end up being spent at religious schools. But this is like claiming that putting out a fire at a church is unconstitutional because the firefighters are primarily helping the church. Looking at education or firefighting as a whole, we see the bulk of the money goes to nonreligious institutions. Roughly 90 percent of all schools throughout the country, public or private, are secular. To follow the fire analogy, it's as if the government used to exclude private schools from fire protection but recently switched to a more even-handed approach--which hardly qualifies as expressing a preference for religion."

That, and you're just limiting poor children's options by not allowing them the opportunity.




[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-07-2002).]

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 04:29 AM
Even if parents choose where the money goes, I guess it's the thought of MY money, POSSIBLY going to private institutions that still links this issue with the first amendment. There's no avoiding that. And it's nice and all that you want to give children more options, but the already problematic public school districts don't need to be ensured that they will never be fixed. Public schools are underfunded as it already is.

Now don't get the idea that I endorse throwing money to schools automatically fixes the problem, but I know well enough from my own experience that a lot of public schools are fucked up and it really is a distraction to getting an education. But I guess that's for another argument.

bittertrance
07-07-2002, 04:31 AM
well if your taxes are going towards a shitty school that your kid is legally required to go to, wouldnt you want the chance to use that money towards soemthing better?

gubment cheese shouldnt be the only option

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 04:37 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
Even if parents choose where the money goes, I guess it's the thought of MY money, POSSIBLY going to private institutions that still links this issue with the first amendment.</font>

This is hardly the first case in which tax dollars may possibly go to religious causes. How about an old lady who gets her Social Security, and is already fairly well off, and decides to donate that to a religious charity or institute? That, and many other such things, go on ALL THE TIME.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:

but the already problematic public school districts don't need to be ensured that they will never be fixed. Public schools are underfunded as it already is.</font>

Maybe they are now, but the public school system has had decades to improve itself on several years of decent budgets, with very little improvement.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
[B]
Now don't get the idea that I endorse throwing money to schools automatically fixes the problem [B]</font>

So if money doesn't fix the problem, then what's the problem with vouchers? If that same money going to fees for that student at a public school doesn't change the school or help it, why limit the child's options?

Irrelevant
07-07-2002, 04:40 AM
for.

:-/

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 04:42 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Irrelevant:
for.

</font>

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 04:43 AM
Even if you completely ignore the first amendment issue, you still come up with major problems that you are choosing to ignore. First of all, I personally do not think one should use taxpayer money to send a child to a private school, whether or not the private school is religious. Public education exists for a reason, and public monies go to pay for the public education, and for the improvement of public education. It doesn't exist so when the public education gets screwed up you bail out completely and send the kids to some snotty rich kids school. Besides, and this does sort of have to do with the first amendment issue, as far as I know private school curriculums are not regulated by the state. Why should government money pay to send a child to a school to teach them things God knows what? Again, if you want to learn something not approved by the states, use your own money and don't use the public's. And money is if not all-important I think it is still key to fixing ailing schools. With money you get better textbooks, better teachers, better technology, better-lighted buildings, better food, and one would HOPE better-educated students. Vouchers are NOT the solution.

[This message has been edited by Mayfuck (edited 07-07-2002).]

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 04:46 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Irrelevant:
for.

:-/</font>

Harry Browne is not gonna be too pleased.

bittertrance
07-07-2002, 04:49 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
With money you get better textbooks, better teachers, better technology, better-lighted buildings, better food, and one would HOPE better-educated students. Vouchers are NOT the solution.

[This message has been edited by Mayfuck (edited 07-07-2002).]</font>


yeah and we are all going to get all of the social security money we paid in

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 04:51 AM
Vouchers don't necessarily guarantee putting poor kids into good private schools. Not only that, but private schools still have jurisdiction over who they want and who they don't want to accept in their schools. And I would imagine private schools might want to consider their independence being threatened if they start accepting money from the government. All this while taxes increase and school budgets are cut. It's a very shaky venture. Why not just continue to improve public schools so they are on par with private schools?

And the first amendment issue thing still stands. It's pretty concrete: Public money going to private/religious institutions. Does it even have to be OUR money? Can't we use private scholarships, tax credits and such?



[This message has been edited by Mayfuck (edited 07-07-2002).]

Irrelevant
07-07-2002, 04:55 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
Harry Browne is not gonna be too pleased.

</font>

http://www.lp.org/issues/program/edu.html

"It's no surprise that poor children suffer the most under the current system. Wealthy parents can afford to send their children to better or safer schools. Poor parents have no choice. Their children generally end up in the schools with the worst problems. These children end up at a public school, which is obligated to accept every local student, even those who are not interested in learning or who have a reputation for being disruptive or dangerous. The current system traps poor children in poor schools. This is just one reason that many parents have given up hope that their children will escape the poverty they have known.

To solve a crisis, you must recognize and eliminate its cause. The crisis in education is no different. The most important step is to end government control of education. We must move toward a system where parents have good, safe, affordable choices for educating their children."

that doesn't really say how they're going to get the money to pay for poor children to go to a privatized school system, though. they have some things like financial incentives for business and personal sponsorship of schools and students, but i don't know if that would ever work.

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 04:56 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
It doesn't exist so when the public education gets screwed up you bail out completely and send the kids to some snotty rich kids school. </font>

First of all, again, 'the public school system has had decades to improve itself on several years of decent budgets, with very little improvement'. So it's not as if this is 'all of a sudden' or anything. It's not like some of these school's simply have a cold and they're gonna get better in a week or so.

And what this really comes down to for some people is class warfare. It's not about the child's opportunity, it's about class and irrelevantly 'fighting the good fight', and it's about whether some think they shouldn't give in to 'some snotty rich kids school.' Some people have too much pride.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:

Why should government money pay to send a child to a school to teach them things god knows what?</font>

There are countless statistics that show that children who graduate from private schools go on to do better in college, have higher GPAs and SAT scores, etc etc. It's not like their standards are not up to par.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:

Vouchers are NOT the solution. </font>

Actually, they have been working quite well in the areas that have been trying them. That's why it was passed in the Supreme Court.

Look, I agree that public education is there for a reason and all that hoopla, and if it's possible for a child to succeed by going to a public school, great. That's the point. But, put yourself in that position. If your child was in a school where he was so distracted by elements he could not control, and the school was simply failing on every concievable level, and his/her future looked as grim you fear, don't tell me you wouldn't give him/her a better opportunity if you had the chance.

Irrelevant
07-07-2002, 04:59 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
And the first amendment issue thing still stands. It's pretty concrete: Public money going to private/religious institutions.</font>

well, it's public money, which has been appropriated for education. it is being used for education, and the type of education is being allowed to be decided by the parents of the child. i don't see what's unconstitutional about it.

an atheist paying money for some kid to learn about how god made the world in 7 days is no different than a christian paying for some kid to learn about evolution, as far as religious rights go.

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 05:03 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
Vouchers don't necessarily guarantee putting poor kids into good private schools. Not only that, but private schools still have jurisdiction over who they want and who they don't want to accept in their schools</font>

What kind of public relations disastor would that be if a private school didn't accept a qualified child into their school off a voucher?

You're right, these places have standards, but there are competing levels of standards.


<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:

And the first amendment issue thing still stands. It's pretty concrete: Public money going to private/religious institutions</font>

Um, no. You're spinning that into something that it's not. It doesn't say in the first amendment anything about 'private', just religious. Take the Social Security analogy. People get that check in the mail each month, and no one cares how they use it, even if it goes to religous charity or institute. It's the same difference as giving money to a parent and then letting them spend it at whichever school they choose.




[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-07-2002).]

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 05:05 AM
Oh, um EDIT^

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Irrelevant:
http://www.lp.org/issues/program/edu.html

"It's no surprise that poor children suffer the most under the current system. Wealthy parents can afford to send their children to better or safer schools. Poor parents have no choice. Their children generally end up in the schools with the worst problems. These children end up at a public school, which is obligated to accept every local student, even those who are not interested in learning or who have a reputation for being disruptive or dangerous. The current system traps poor children in poor schools. This is just one reason that many parents have given up hope that their children will escape the poverty they have known.

To solve a crisis, you must recognize and eliminate its cause. The crisis in education is no different. The most important step is to end government control of education. We must move toward a system where parents have good, safe, affordable choices for educating their children."</font>

HEY YOU ARE QUOTING ANOTHER WEBSITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT. THAT MEANS YOU ARE STUPID AND CANNOT FORMULATE YOUR OWN IDEAS.

Irrelevant
07-07-2002, 05:10 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
HEY YOU ARE QUOTING ANOTHER WEBSITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT. THAT MEANS YOU ARE STUPID AND CANNOT FORMULATE YOUR OWN IDEAS. </font>

>:I

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 05:13 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by : Samsa

I am not worried about SAT scores and GPA as much as what the hell kind of unregulated random bullshit could get into the curriculum</font>

Who cares? So long as the kids get what they need to succeed in college, that's all that matters.

If some Muslim kid wanted a voucher to go to an Islamic private school, I wouldn't care. I wouldn't care what they taught (short of jihad, of course), so long as the general education requirments were met and he learned and made it into college.

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 05:13 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Um, no. You're spinning that into something that it's not. It doesn't say in the first amendment anything about 'private', just religious. Take the Social Security analogy. People get that check in the mail each month, and no one cares how they use it, even if it goes to religous charity or institute. It's the same difference as giving money to a parent and then letting them spend it at whichever school they choose.</font>

The social security and vouchers comparison doesn't work. Social Security and vouchers aren't the same however. Vouchers are to fund EDUCATION. Now while the money goes to parents who then decide what they want to do with it, the basic idea is to fund EDUCATION. Social Security is OLD AGE PENSION and works as insurance. That money is intended to fund individuals, not institutions, therefore that is why it is different when Social Security money ends up being used for charities, etc.

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 05:15 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
I wouldn't care what they taught (short of jihad, of course)
</font>

And what if they did teach Jihad? http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/wink.gif

(That was me posting as Suze by the way. Forgot to log out of her sn while snooping her PMs :x )

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 05:16 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Irrelevant:
>:I</font>

Right? I mean that's what the idiots here said about Suze. Oh looks like tweedyburd did the same too. I guess he doesn't have a mind either!

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 05:20 AM
Okay well people aren't gonna appreciate their money going to some kid's religious/not governmentally approved education. The government represents all people but they aren't doing that by using the people's money to pay for religion, or any other private matter.

I'm going to sleep. Be bax later.

[This message has been edited by Mayfuck (edited 07-07-2002).]

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 05:20 AM
Of course they're intended for different things. What I'm saying is they can just as easily be paralleled. You're arguing about the means when you should be focusing on the possible results.

Students can spend G.I. Bills to attend private religious schools. There are plenty of other examples that never are called into consitutional question.

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 05:26 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:

The government represents all people but they aren't doing that by using the people's money to pay for religion, or any other private matter.</font>

Well they've been wasting the taxpayer's money on public schools to a large extent for the past 30 years, so...

Mayfuck
07-07-2002, 05:26 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Of course they're intended for different things. What I'm saying is they can just as easily be paralleled. You're arguing about the means when you should be focusing on the possible results.

Students can spend G.I. Bills to attend private religious schools. There are plenty of other examples that never are called into consitutional question.</font>

Sure they can be comparable but only if you want to make the argument you're making. They're just different. It's public education, it's public education being superceded by private education, by using the public's money. It's not social security, and it's not a person in the army going to college. We could go into specifics but I think it's enough to say that most situations aren't really comparable, and I've never really appreciated this sort of nitpicky analogy-making in order to prove a point. Because most cases cannot be simply analogized and filed and put away. Okay, sleep time for real.

Irrelevant
07-07-2002, 05:28 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
Right? I mean that's what the idiots here said about Suze. Oh looks like tweedyburd did the same too. I guess he doesn't have a mind either!</font>

i didn't say it. i like suze. except for when she hates me.

but i also only used one quote, and it wasn't even in support of my argument, since i'm not really even making one. i was just showing you the libertarian postition on public education. i don't know their specific stance on vouchers. i'm assuming for, based on that page.

blah blah blah, semantics semantics. ya know.

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 05:33 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Mayfuck:
Sure they can be comparable but only if you want to make the argument you're making. They're just different. </font>


It's actually a very easy comparison to make, and it's not all that nitpicky, unless of course you're on the other end of the argument and just don't want to acknowledge it http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/wink.gif The same results happen in each circumstance, yet you seem to think they're totally unrelatable because the means are different. They are different, but only in how they're formulated, not necessarily how they're carried out.

The G.I. Bill analogy, in particular, works perfectly because it's governement funded dollars going into an educational institute of choice, whether that be state supported or private/religious.

[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-07-2002).]

DeviousJ
07-07-2002, 08:34 AM
Isn't there a bonus awarded for picking a private school over a public one under this system?

feb4films
07-07-2002, 03:35 PM
Against.

(deleted text)

Random Female
07-07-2002, 03:42 PM
Against
the system is inherently racist. the only ones it's going to help are the middle class that can ALMOST afford to send their white kid to private school, but need that extra 2 or 5k to do so. it's not going to help the poor. and what about borderline (or maybe not so borderline?) racist districts that will keep the price for their school up just high enough so that the lower class (and in many areas minority areas) won't be able to afford it even with the vouchers. it benefits the upper middle class to rich only. ask any fucking public schoolteacher, and they'll all tell you the same thing: AGAINST.

pale_princess
07-07-2002, 03:49 PM
what the hell is a school voucher? inform the canadian!

Random Female
07-07-2002, 03:52 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by pale_princess:
what the hell is a school voucher? inform the canadian!</font>if you don't want to send your kid to public school, the govt will give you a certain amount of $$ to send it to a private (probably SECULAR) school because you're no longer using the tax dollars you have spent on the public system. to be fair, just because thes upreme court ok'd vouchers it doesn't mean the whole country has them.. it's a state by state thing (fortunately CA said NO THX) but it's still a breach of the first amendment, the 14th amendment and common sense to me.

Undone
07-07-2002, 04:20 PM
<font color="CC33CC">Though I've argued the inadequacy of school vouchers in the past on account of the lack of resources (the schools would need more space and more teachers for all the relocated students, and since teaching is not well-paid, many educated people do not go into it), I'd almost be willing to try anything at this point. Perhaps it is not the best solution, perhaps it is an improvement, perhaps it's just another attack on the branches instead of the root of problems. I don't know.

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 05:47 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Random Female:
Against
the system is inherently racist. the only ones it's going to help are the middle class that can ALMOST afford to send their white kid to private school, but need that extra 2 or 5k to do so. it's not going to help the poor. and what about borderline (or maybe not so borderline?) racist districts that will keep the price for their school up just high enough so that the lower class (and in many areas minority areas) won't be able to afford it even with the vouchers. it benefits the upper middle class to rich only.

[QUOTE]Originally posted by Random Female:
[B]
ask any fucking public schoolteacher, and they'll all tell you the same thing: AGAINST.</font>

That's not why they're against it. The Dems are in bed with the teaching unions for a reason--votes. And that's why they're against this legislation. Which is strange because liberals are the supposed champions of fighting for the benefits/options of people on lower rungs of the economic ladder.

Oh, and 5k per semester is often plenty to send a child to a number of private schools. To be fair, it may be a distance, and that's the only real problem here.

And it's also funny to see the race card played when recent surveys have shown that 60% of black Americans support the voucher cause.

bittertrance
07-07-2002, 05:54 PM
how does it affect the first amendment?

it seems like most of the poeple who dont like it are mad at some private schools being of relgion. ummm if you dont agree with the religion there are others you can choose from, no?

right now kids are being forced to go to certain schools based on where they live, so how is opening up school choice worse than legally demanding they only go to a certain school?

failure
07-07-2002, 08:22 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:

It's actually a very easy comparison to make, and it's not all that nitpicky, unless of course you're on the other end of the argument and just don't want to acknowledge it ;-) The same results happen in each circumstance, yet you seem to think they're totally unrelatable because the means are different. They are different, but only in how they're formulated, not necessarily how they're carried out.

The G.I. Bill analogy, in particular, works perfectly because it's governement funded dollars going into an educational institute of choice, whether that be state supported or private/religious.

[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-07-2002).]</font>

Well, I think the point is that these three situations ARE different and they don't have the same ends. I think the main difference between the gi/old lady situation and the vouchers situation is that in the former situations, the government is giving these people money for a non-specific purpose -- the old lady is given social security to buy foor or whatnot (or I don't really know how social security works) and the GI is given money to go to A college. In the case of vouchers, this is not the same. The money has a very specific purpose (PUBLIC, nondenominational schools), which is being thwarted by whomever. They ARE different situations. This issue shouldn't boil down to comparing it with other cases. Other cases will always be different.

And Bittertrance, as stated before, the problem is not necessarily the choice of schools (although it very may well be) sure people may WANT to go to a religious school -- the problem is that taxpayers should not PAY to send kids to a religious school. Or to any other private school for that matter. You should all stop concentrating on who the money's going to and start looking at where it's coming from.

tweedyburd
07-07-2002, 08:36 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by failure:
Other cases will always be different.
</font>

Only to those who refuse to see the very obvious common thread between the different cases. It's something of note that people who are on the other side of the argument cannot concede for the life of them that the government has funded religious based endevors for years without a constitutional outcry, yet first amendment scholars have noted this from the beginning.

They don't have the same ends? I think you're confusing the ends with the means here. Tell me the difference between the 'ends' of vouchers being used for religious/private schools and the G.I. Bill being used for the same thing, only on a college level. Vouchers are specifically for 'A' school, too. The only difference is to help a different group of people. The result is the exact same--namely, government funded money going to a school of choice, even if it's religious.

And I'm not trying to 'boil this down' to shelve it away as such. I'm just noting the incredible double standard that is at play here.

Some of you claim to be upset that your tax dollars might possibly go to a religious school, but you're more caught up in the actual 'intentions' and process than actually looking at the results that can come from othe areas that have been mentioned. This reveals a level of bullheadedness that preceeds any positive outcome that may occur.




[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-07-2002).]

bittertrance
07-07-2002, 08:37 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by failure:
You should all stop concentrating on who the money's going to and start looking at where it's coming from. </font>


yeah its coming form the parents, you, and i....so are you having religion stand in the way of better educated kids? i am not.

feb4films
07-07-2002, 08:40 PM
Why I'm against it:
An education has nothing to do with learning moral code, just as it has nothing to do with sports. I don't believe a poor person should have no other choice but to send their children to a private school in order to get an education - most private schools are based in a set religion - I don't believe a poor person should have to give their child's moral upbringing to a specific religion in order to get an education.

I will relate this to sports. In Chicago, kids who excel in basketball are offered private grants to go to specific city schools - basically, they are recruited to these few schools for their athletic abilities. They get attention because of playing for these schools and also get a better education - and, if good enough in something like basketball, they are able to go to college. The only way out for most inner-city youth is sports - why? Because the education system has failed them.

So, if you can't get an education in your neighborhood, hopefully you'll be good enough in sports to get out of the poverty.

You can sidestep the insufficient education system with an easy fix: those who are "eligible" to receive these special sports-related private grants can go on to a better school and then to college and so on.

We have that option - or, for those who test well enough to be "eligible" for an education at, let's say, a Catholic private school, can get into college and so on.

I don't believe someone should have to become good in sports in order to get out of poverty or to get an education - just as I don't believe someone should have to have a certain religious upbringing in order to get out of poverty or to get an education.

I think it's easy to instill beliefs into kids, but it's hard to distill beliefs from them once raised on them. I would rather supplement a public school education and have the moral code instilled by myself - and that's the way I want to raise my kid - and why should I have to sacrifice that if I'm poor and there isn't enough money in my area to get the teachers and supplies it takes to create a decent education? You're right - I shouldn't have to.

To end - for all those who are talking about research and stats, please look at this NY Times article from 2000:
[i]September 15, 2000

New Doubt Is Cast on Study That Backs Voucher Efforts
By KATE ZERNIKE

Two weeks ago, prominent researchers released a study showing significant gains by black students who had been given vouchers to help pay for private school. The finding lent support to backers of voucher programs at a time when they have become an election-year issue.

But now a company that gathered data for the research in New York, one of three cities studied, says the gains, as measured by scores on standardized math and reading tests, were overstated by the lead researcher, a Harvard professor known within the academic community for his exuberant support of vouchers.

In fact, the company says, in New York there was no significant test- score difference between students who attended private school on vouchers and those who stayed in public school.

Bothered by what it describes as the report's exaggerated claims, the company, Mathematica Policy Research of Princeton, N.J., has now taken the unusual step of issuing a statement that cautions against leaping to any policy conclusions. Mathematica calls the original finding "premature."

The researchers, led by Paul E. Peterson, director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University, acknowledge that the gains among black students who used vouchers were concentrated heavily in Washington, where the improvement was twice as great as in New York and one-third greater than in the third city studied, Dayton, Ohio.

But in an interview, Professor Peterson stood by his characterization of the overall result as significant.

"An average is an average," he said.

The study measured test scores among 1,400 poor students given vouchers worth $1,700 a year to attend private school. While there were no significant overall gains among students of other ethnic groups, black students in their second year of private-school attendance improved their test scores by 6.3 percentile points a striking advance at a time when schools around the country are trying to close a persistent gap between scores of white and black students.

But the study quickly came under attack from several quarters, in part a reflection of how heated the debate over vouchers has become.

The work was initially criticized because it had been underwritten by several conservative pro-voucher foundations. But the more recent criticism has focused specifically on the way the conclusions were arrived at, with even some of the researchers saying the larger picture is much less positive than Professor Peterson maintained.

"If you ask the question, `When I offered students vouchers, did I make a difference in their test scores?' right now you come away saying, `No, there's no impact,' " said David Myers of Mathematica, who was a principal investigator for the study.

Professor Peterson said in the report that the gains by black students using vouchers were statistically significant in each city after two years. But in the study's New York portion, which involved the largest and most diverse group of students, the gains were limited to sixth graders; the black students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 made no gains.

"Because the gains are so concentrated in this single group, one needs to be very cautious in setting policy based on the overall modest impacts on test scores," Mr. Myers said. "We really need to learn why this group stands out so much. Until we understand it, we cannot place much policy weight on it."

Critics point to another issue as well: Professor Peterson initially said the study's results were particularly reliable because this was the first time students had been randomly selected to receive vouchers; family **********, then, would presumably not influence the results.

But the critics note that a high percentage of students offered the vouchers 47 percent in Washington, 46 percent in Dayton and 24 percent in New York did not use them, and that those who ended up using them had higher family incomes and higher levels of parent education and were less likely to be on welfare. This information was not included in the report, although Professor Peterson acknowledged it in the interview.

The difference in the two groups, the critics say, suggests that the poorest students those whom politicians maintain vouchers would most help may not use them.

In follow-up interviews and surveys, Mr. Myers said, parents say they cannot afford private schools even with the help of vouchers, or find that private schools do not have enough space for their children.

Martin Conroy, a professor of education and economics at Stanford University, said: "I'm worried that there are all sorts of nonmeasurable characteristics of these kids that made it difficult for them to get into these private schools. Even if they got vouchers, they might not have been able to pay the other costs associated with private schools, and even if they could pay, they might not have been able to get into a private school."

Professor Conroy is among a group of academics who have called on Professor Peterson to release his data so they can analyze the results, which were not peer-reviewed. They question whether he adequately adjusted the data for differences in income and parent education level.

"The pressure to get something out at election time was a much more dominant theme than the idea of letting it go through review," said Henry M. Levin, a professor at Teachers College at Columbia University.

Professor Peterson dismissed the criticism, saying his work "was looked at by lots of people lots of times."
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[This message has been edited by feb4films (edited 07-07-2002).]

failure
07-07-2002, 08:49 PM
please refer to Mark LeDrew's warning regarding why I am posting in this thread.

failure
07-07-2002, 08:53 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Only to those who refuse to see the very obvious common thread between the different cases. It's something of note that people who are on the other side of the argument cannot concede for the life of them that the government has funded religious based endevors for years without a constitutional outcry, yet first amendment scholars have noted this from the beginning.

They don't have the same ends? I think you're confusing the ends with the means here. Tell me the difference between the 'ends' of vouchers being used for religious/private schools and the G.I. Bill being used for the same thing, only on a college level. Vouchers are specifically for 'A' school, too. The only difference is to help a different group of people. The result is the exact same--namely, government funded money going to a school of choice, even if it's religious.

And I'm not trying to 'boil this down' to shelve it away as such. I'm just noting the incredible double standard that is at play here.

Some of you claim to be upset that your tax dollars might possibly go to a religious school, but you're more caught up in the actual 'intentions' and process than actually looking at the results that can come from othe areas that have been mentioned. This reveals a level of bullheadedness that preceeds any positive outcome that may occur.


[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-07-2002).]</font>The only 'obvious' common thread involves religion. Everything else is different, including WHY the money is being granted in the first place, which i think is key. As far as the gi student goes, they are 1 grown adults 2 members of the army (therefore deserving some sort of compensation) and most importantly 3 the money was not INTENDED for a public school in the first place. the money is not being taken from say the university of minnesota so the person can go to the university of chicago. the way i see it the person is simply given the money and then given the choice of anywhere to go. as far as the old person goes, there are the same differences. It's social security money, and it ends up where it was intended. So does the money that goes to the GI. The vouchers take money away from where it was intended, and put it somewhere else.

It's simply not a double standard. God is in the details. Bla bla bla. You can't take 3 uncomparable things and say they're completely comparable. It's like anything. Morality is a very tricky subject, and so is constitutionality.

bittertrance
07-07-2002, 08:53 PM
ok so why not give them at least the choice or opportunity to use them? if they dont want to go to a private school they dont have to, but at least they can have an option.

Irrelevant
07-07-2002, 08:56 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Random Female:
it's still a breach of the first amendment, the 14th amendment and common sense to me.</font>

even as a champion of the first amendment, i'd have to say no. see my reasoning on the first page. no one replied to it so i figure, either i'm completely right and no one can argue with me, i'm completely wrong and everyone thinks i'm too stupid to argue with, or my opinion is insignificant (that's probably it).

failure
07-07-2002, 08:57 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by bittertrance:
ok so why not give them at least the choice or opportunity to use them? if they dont want to go to a private school they dont have to, but at least they can have an option. </font>
ok if you don't mind having religion stand in the way of a decent education, but some people would say the constitution would beg to differ. I know that I certainly don't want MY money going to send kids to a school where they maybe learn that creationism is supreme, or that homosexuality is wrong, or that women should be subordinate in society. Or it's not even going that far. There are tons of different issues. I mean the curriculum issue has been mentioned before -- private schools can do whatever they want, devote as much time in history to europe as they want and not much at all to africa or asia. Etc. Not saying it will or won't happen just that it's possible. And the public money pays for public school, not private school.

SPheart9
07-07-2002, 11:44 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Random Female:
Against
the system is inherently racist. the only ones it's going to help are the middle class that can ALMOST afford to send their white kid to private school, but need that extra 2 or 5k to do so. it's not going to help the poor. and what about borderline (or maybe not so borderline?) racist districts that will keep the price for their school up just high enough so that the lower class (and in many areas minority areas) won't be able to afford it even with the vouchers. it benefits the upper middle class to rich only. ask any fucking public schoolteacher, and they'll all tell you the same thing: AGAINST.</font>


wow. first of all, i've gone to private school for all except one year of my life. so i know a little bit about it...

for starters, in my PRIVATE school, if you were white, you were the minority. i'm sure that somewhere along the lines there is research done on the nationalities of individuals who attend private school to support your case, but in my 13 years of experience which i would think counts for something, you're wrong. the price of tuition isn't kept up to keep students of certain races "out" but rather high enough to keep the school running.

i think you have a misunderstanding of what a private school really is. very, very few private schools are as expensive as you claim them to be, or as elite. i went to catholic school for grades K-8 for $2000 a year. i went to catholic high school for $5000 a year. that's the norm, the average. the average salaries of the parents who go to my school aren't high at all-some barely even qualify as "middle class"

the reason private schools are so successful around here is because of the lack of quality of public schools. i'm not saying that giving money to a private school is going to resolve that problem, but it offers new options to many individuals who wish their children to have higher standards and a different degree of schooling.

ADDITIONALLY, private schools often offer LESS things than a public school. many people incorrectly assume that since a school is private, there is more money to spend on other things, but there isn't. money is way tighter at most private schools
than it is at public-the only funding that their getting is from private individuals, remember. that means they have to pay for everything.


and i can tell you RIGHT now why any public school teacher will be against it. my mother is a catholic school teacher, and if she taught at a public school around here, her salary would be THREE times as much as it is right now. i don't think too many public school teachers are going to want to lose their money.

bittertrance
07-07-2002, 11:59 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by failure:
ok if you don't mind having religion stand in the way of a decent education, but some people would say the constitution would beg to differ. I know that I certainly don't want MY money going to send kids to a school where they maybe learn that creationism is supreme, or that homosexuality is wrong, or that women should be subordinate in society. Or it's not even going that far. There are tons of different issues. I mean the curriculum issue has been mentioned before -- private schools can do whatever they want, devote as much time in history to europe as they want and not much at all to africa or asia. Etc. Not saying it will or won't happen just that it's possible. And the public money pays for public school, not private school. </font>

so you are content with parents only having one school to choose from and you think public schools now are doing a fine job?

also i think you fail to realize that if a parent does not agree with said religion (if a school they can choose to go to is even religous based) i doubt they would send their kids there in the first place. the kids going to schools that are a certain religion would most likely already be of that denomination

tweedyburd
07-08-2002, 01:30 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by failure:
The only 'obvious' common thread involves religion. Everything else is different, including WHY the money is being granted in the first place, which i think is key. As far as the gi student goes, they are 1 grown adults 2 members of the army (therefore deserving some sort of compensation) and most importantly 3 the money was not INTENDED for a public school in the first place.
</font>

Here's the point you continue to miss: If this is grounds for unconstitutional law being promoted with vouchers, then it can swing both ways, in regards to the G.I. Bill. I know they're intended differently, you don't have to tell me that, but the consitutionality of both processes may as well both be in question if you're going to argue against vouchers. Regardless of intention, they often carry the same result, and you can't deny that. Tax money is tax money, regardless of how it is funneled or intended to be used through the system. And the same source is being tapped for both uses, both of which can potentially and specifically go to religious institutes if so desired.




[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 07-08-2002).]

BlueStar
07-08-2002, 01:39 AM
<font color=#ADD8E6>Against.

I went to Catholic schools my entire life. One of reasons that private schools are different (and often considered better) is that they aren't funded by tax dollars. And you don't need to have money to send your kids to a private school. Catholic schools have no tuition if you are a member of the church that the school is connected to (you pay your tithing to the church and that is it...and the tithing is based on your income) (note: this is not true for Catholic high schools...however, they do offer scholarships, tuition assistance, and work-study). You will find that most private schools and the Catholic church are against school vouchers.

------------------
~*~Samantha~*~

http://homepages.nyu.edu/~sag249/sigankle.jpg

tweedyburd
07-08-2002, 01:42 AM
Nice points, Rachel. I was going to say that I'd had a few friends that attended private schools growing up and they basically say what you said.

Oh, and Chad, I could probably find a credible article that refutes some of the negative claims from the Times piece. That's the problem with a lot of media--it's obviously going to be biased and it's hard to know what is actually real anymore.

tear stained glass
07-08-2002, 01:50 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by failure:
[QUOTE]And the public money pays for public school, not private school. </font>I am against vouchers for this reason.

tweedyburd
07-08-2002, 01:53 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tear stained glass:
Originally posted by failure:
[QUOTE]And the public money pays for public school, not private school. </font>I am against vouchers for this reason.

Actually, that is a good point. In all honesty, public money for private schools is a misnomer. But I still think the option should be available, if so desired.

feb4films
07-08-2002, 04:40 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:

Oh, and Chad, I could probably find a credible article that refutes some of the negative claims from the Times piece. That's the problem with a lot of media--it's obviously going to be biased and it's hard to know what is actually real anymore. </font>

That was my point, homey - stats can be skewed - both ways.

I wanted to say one more thing. Unfortunately, we live in a society that is too lazy to change something. Vouchers are a convenient way to divert attention away from actually fixing our education problem the correct way, but it's enough to satisfy the general population. This is something we will have to live with until a majority wants to start voting for people who are going to change shit. Until then, this is the only option we're going to have to help this problem, so it's better than doing nothing at all. I still say it SHOULDN'T be this way, but there seems to be no other options...

Mayfuck
07-08-2002, 04:41 AM
Butt clams

Irrelevant
07-08-2002, 04:49 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by failure:
ok if you don't mind having religion stand in the way of a decent education, but some people would say the constitution would beg to differ. I know that I certainly don't want MY money going to send kids to a school where they maybe learn that creationism is supreme, or that homosexuality is wrong, or that women should be subordinate in society.</font>

so a christian should have to pay extra money if they want to have their child not publically educated in a system that openly defies their core religious beliefs?

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">And the public money pays for public school, not private school. </font>

tax money is being appropriated for education. it can be used for public schooling, or private schooling. either way, it is being used to educate the youth of america, like it is meant to. i don't see why there should be a distinction between types of education. the educaiton a child get should be at the discretion of his or her parents.