Free Essays on Vouchers and School Choice
Length: 638 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)
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The Power of School Choice
I am for the concept of Choice because no child should be forced to go to a bad school against his or his parents' will especially when there is a better school nearby. Parents not only freely choose any kinds of school but also allow to work with others to create new independent schools. Nowadays, we cannot ignore the reality that choice already exists for some privileged, rich people. It is fair to give our children a impartial chance at life through a better education.
As we know, school choice is a very complex issue. It involves state or federal authorities, finance and budgets, teachers, students, parents, communities, school resources...etc. Besides, it is also very disputant in the United States. However, although it looks like a very tough task to set the program into action, it really works in Vermont and that is my ideal choice program, too.
In Vermont's educational choice system, the town school board pays tuition for students to attend any public or approved private school that their parents choose. You may be curious about the tuition problem. Here is how they deal with the tuition:
The school board of a so-called "tuition town" is required by law to pay the full tuition charged by a public school. It must pay an independent school an amount equal to the average tuition charge of the state's union high school districts ($5,903 in school year 1993-94). If the tuition at the selected independent school is greater than this amount, the school district may pay the larger amount, but it is not required to do so. The parents must cover any difference. (McClaughry, 1995)1
It is so nature to achieve the school choice dream. No boast, no meaningless excuses and no intense horrors. The school choice extends to public and private school regardless of district lines. It is a venerable educational reform achievement. Every child can accept better education they deserve.
Some people may argue that school-choice advocates place great faith in the market model--effective schools would thrive while poor schools go "out of business." It is true that provision of school choice would create a competition. However, it is not a vicious competition. We want to create a "win-win" situation. Schools and students should not in opposing -- they complement each other.
On the other hand, some people may worry about school choice causing racial unbalance in school. They think for the most part, white students from high-income families tend to attend mainly white schools in high-income neighborhoods, white students from minority families are more likely to ask for mainly nonwhite schools in lower-income areas. However, the misunderstanding is that the quality of schools in low-income areas are always worse than schools in high-income areas. In fact, no parents will only judge race when they choose school. A venerable school would attract both black and white students.
Successful implementation of school choice program would require standards, accountability, aware educators and parents, unhindered channel of communication and venerable academies. Standards not only provide information for parents to choose schools but also accompany with accountability. Aware educators and parents usually motivate the whole environment. Not only advantaged or better-educated parents who involved in the schooling. In my opinion, parents all care about their own kids. As soon as they were informed, they would be aware of school choice. Thus, it needs a unhindered channel of communication. And finally, various schools running in order to suit various children's interests and characteristics. Think about it: You can choose the suitable school for your kids based on your own evaluation. I hope the dream will come true in the near future.
1 McClaughry, J. (1995) Educational Choice: It really works in Vermont. A Heartland Perspective, March 1995.