Before More Kids Fail, Try School Vou...

Before More Kids Fail, Try School Vouchers

There are 19 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Apr 21, 2009, titled Before More Kids Fail, Try School Vouchers. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch isn't crazy about school vouchers. But the inequality of our failed system of urban education is even less appealing.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

AnotherEduc8r

Washington, DC

#1 Apr 21, 2009
How many school-age children live in Bridgeport? According to this story, there are only 400 seats available in Catholic schools. What do you propose to do for everyone else?

The answer is not to abandon them to a system that isn't performing - it's to fix that system. Taxpayers need to adjust to the fact that education costs, and they need to pony up, and politicians need to grow spines and actually govern rather than pander to self-interested anti-tax zealots. I'd rather pay taxes to fix a broken school than invest it in AIG bonuses, or to keep the pharmaceutical industry flush. Wouldn't you?
JRobert

United States

#3 Apr 21, 2009
AnotherEduc8r wrote:
How many school-age children live in Bridgeport? According to this story, there are only 400 seats available in Catholic schools. What do you propose to do for everyone else?
The answer is not to abandon them to a system that isn't performing - it's to fix that system. Taxpayers need to adjust to the fact that education costs, and they need to pony up, and politicians need to grow spines and actually govern rather than pander to self-interested anti-tax zealots. I'd rather pay taxes to fix a broken school than invest it in AIG bonuses, or to keep the pharmaceutical industry flush. Wouldn't you?
The "all or nothing" concept is an example of the thinking that got us here. 400 seats would make a large dent, while providing a stepping stone and a gauge of how well vouchers would or would not work.

And, considering the already extremely high cost per student for city schools, attempts to "fix" the system by pouring more money into it are likely to do no better than they have for generations.

As for the "anti-tax zealots", the point of the protests wasn't ANTI-tax, it was about the stupid and often unconstitutional ways our tax money is being used, and the nation-destroying burden it will likely place on our future generations.
taxpayer

West Hartford, CT

#4 Apr 21, 2009
Note: Of course it's easy to teach kids in Catholic or private schools -- they can kick out kids who have problems learning or with self-control. The real solution would be in regionalism -- instead of mostly poor or mostly well to do school systems, let's give children a chance to truly interact and learn together? And let's get serious about helping kids who really need help -- and their families, too.
taxpayer

West Hartford, CT

#5 Apr 21, 2009
Another thought -- a while back, Rick Green also wrote about hurdles to certification and cited a PhD who cannot get certified easily to teach in CT. He seemed to assume that the guy would be a great teacher. Maybe, maybe not. Just cuz he knows his subject well (as I assume a PhD would) does not mean he will be a good teacher/communicator. It's hard to predict who will be an excellent teacher.....see Gladwell's piece in Mid-December New Yorker magazine for more on this subject.
Its about time

Hartford, CT

#6 Apr 21, 2009
Vouchers simply allow schools to control their population and set their own rules, hence the "better education" because the troublemakers are eliminated the second a rule is broken and then guess where those kids end back up? Yep, in public schools forced to take them in and deal with them and all their issues.
Some parents will benefit, sure, because it will allow well behaved kids to thrive and parents who value education a chance to see what schools can really be like.
But in the end, those students with issues still have to be placed somewhere, and that's when you always blame the schools and teachers instead of pointing to the real problem, their home environment.
ruoy diputs

Warren, NJ

#7 Apr 21, 2009
Maybe they need to buy a hot dog cart.
whatsinaname

Manchester, CT

#8 Apr 21, 2009
if Catholic schools had to accept every student in a geographic area, their performance would be no better than public schools'/
JRobert

United States

#9 Apr 21, 2009
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, hoping for a different outcome.

That's what the union-controlled public education systems in our cities have been doing for generations.

Under the failed public education systems of most cities, willing students (and their families) are punished in order to adhere to the socialistic ideal of a "level" playing field. But that only ensures that everyone rides the same cattle-car train of systemic and generational failure.

Vouchers require poorly run schools to either compete or go out of business, while offering willing students a chance to break out.
DDog

Glastonbury, CT

#10 Apr 21, 2009
Rick, You've chosen simplicity over intelligence which pretty much the stock and trade of Courant columnists. Vouchers for a religious school that treats women like dogs doesn't seem like a positive venture. How about vouchers for some Fundementalist Islamic schools for these poor kids. I'm sure that would go over well with the locals. GET PARENTS involved. Make them come to school with their kids and become involved. It's a failure of culture not process.
Binary quiz

New Haven, CT

#11 Apr 21, 2009
How about the kids actually study, and go to school? Wow what a concept. Maybe make the parents learn english. Maybe make them actually work. Oh thats right, their not white. Free handouts for all.
ricbee

Wallingford, CT

#12 Apr 21, 2009
Government Indoctrination aka Public Education is a failed enterprise. We must let parents decide where to send their children. Only they really have the child's best interests at heart.
ricbee

Wallingford, CT

#13 Apr 21, 2009
whatsinaname wrote:
if Catholic schools had to accept every student in a geographic area, their performance would be no better than public schools'/
Maybe,but it'd be a lot cheaper!
Right Democrat

Jacksonville, FL

#14 Apr 21, 2009
I have long argued that supporting vouchers is a progressive position. In fact, some of the early supporters of school choice were great Democrats like Hubert Humphrey and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Vouchers are basically a matter of civil rights. Poor kids should have an opportunity to get a decent education. I support public schools but education has always been a public-private partnership. A one size fits all approach to education simply doesn't work.
GreekChorus

Deep River, CT

#15 Apr 21, 2009
whatsinaname wrote:
if Catholic schools had to accept every student in a geographic area, their performance would be no better than public schools'/
You're quite ignorant and quite wrong. I have seen serious discipline cases put into my children's Catholic school after being out of control and failing in the public schools and they have been whipped into shape. Why? Because the teachers, who are way too intelligent to join a union, don't whine and blame the parents and society; they do the job they are paid to do knowing that they can be fired if they don't.

We're in our ninth year at the same school and in those nine years no one has ever been expelled. It is a myth that private schools expel the problem students.

Whenever the topic of vouchers comes up the public schools say all kinds of things, but one thing I have never heard them say is "We can provide a better education."
Victory

Hartford, CT

#16 Apr 23, 2009
We all know that children not learning is very profitable, as long as they are not white!!!
Pat

Granby, CT

#17 Apr 23, 2009
"But the inequality of our failed system of urban education is even less appealing."

Education is education whether it is in a rural or urban setting. The failure lies with the "urban" youth who lack any real desire to learn, not with the educational system itself. Funny how the "system of urban education" produces the same results in hundreds of different school districts across the country that are all run by different educators and administrators yet the same poor results occur. Time to wake up and face reality about what the actual problem is and it is NOT the teachers.
ricbee

United States

#18 Apr 23, 2009
Pat wrote:
"But the inequality of our failed system of urban education is even less appealing."
Education is education whether it is in a rural or urban setting. The failure lies with the "urban" youth who lack any real desire to learn, not with the educational system itself. Funny how the "system of urban education" produces the same results in hundreds of different school districts across the country that are all run by different educators and administrators yet the same poor results occur. Time to wake up and face reality about what the actual problem is and it is NOT the teachers.
You're way off topic but right that the kids learn at home how to get free food,free housing & fat checks from the government.
Troubled Waters

Glastonbury, CT

#19 Apr 23, 2009
The problem with inner city education is first, there are too many single parent households. Men run from the responsibility of raising the kids they bring into the world. Second, too many mothers think their kids are going to grow up and get filthy rich in the NBA and then buy momma cars, houses and jewels.
Troubled Waters

Glastonbury, CT

#20 Apr 23, 2009
Victory wrote:
We all know that children not learning is very profitable, as long as they are not white!!!
What are you talking about? These parents and kids need to take responsibility for themselves and stop blaming whitey for everything that doesn't go their way.

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