School Vouchers The Wrong Choice Essays

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School Vouchers: The Wrong Choice

Susie is a young girl who lives in Florida. Since kindergarten, she has attended a nearby private school. Her parents willingly pay her tuition, even though doing so forces them to cut other corners. They do not mind these sacrifices, since they know that their daughter is getting the best education they can give her.

Jesse lives downtown, in the inner city. She attends the local public school and struggles through her classes. Her mother would like to send her to a private school, where there is less violence and a calmer atmosphere, but cannot afford it.
Then, Jesse’s mother learns that a voucher system has put into place for the entire state of Florida. Jesse’s inner city, spray-painted elementary school received a failing status, so she can receive a voucher to attend the school of her choice. With the money she receives from the voucher, Jesse’s mother is able to send her daughter to the same private school that Susie attends.

Is it fair that Susie’s parents pinch pennies while Jesse’s mother send her on the bus for free? While meaning well, does the voucher system inadvertently discriminate against children like Susie whose parents must work extra hours to put their children through private school? Is the voucher system really the answer to the problems with American education today, or a way to transfer them somewhere else? American public schools have always had their flaws. In the nineteenth century, colleges complained of under-prepared freshmen; students who could not write an essay or even spell. A main controversy was bilingual education for newly naturalized immigrants. As America entered the early 1900s, the debate turned to the use of entertainment in the classroom. Teachers felt that they must put on a show in order to keep the attention of their pupils. The abandonment of phonics in the 1920s and 30s was believed to be the reason why the job market consisted of those with inadequate educational preparation. Social promotion and the replacement of the “three R’s” with emotional stability and attitude courses were the causes of concern in the 1940s. The 1950s brought an awareness of low standards. It was found that American children were lagging behind the average standards of the rest of the world. Safety in schools also became an issue; incoming teachers were warned of the “ph...

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...(Roberts, Glenn 23).

Instead of taking this money away form the nation’s failing schools, it should be pumped into them and put to work. Education tax dollars should be put to work solving the problems in American schools. The voucher system is an escape out the back door. It simply transfers all of the issues out of the public schools, placing them in the hands of the private community.


Works Cited

Kaczor, Bill. “Judge Throws Out Florida Voucher Law.” Tallahassee Democrat, 15 March 2000.

Roberts, Nanette M. and Glenn, Charles L. “School Vouchers: Two Views.” Sojourners (January - February 1998): 22-25.

Rothstein, Richard. The Way We Were?: The Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement. [Online] Available, May 1, 2000.

Tyack, David. “Choice Options: School Choice, Yes - But What Kind?” The American Prospect Online, January - February 1999, 42. [Online] Available, May 1, 2000.

Whitmire, Richard. “Milwaukee Voucher study Says Public Schools Not Harmed.” Gannett News Service, 3 February 2000.

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