A cruel school move

A cruel school move

There are 27 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Mar 8, 2009, titled A cruel school move. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

We wrote last week about Democratic efforts to strip 1,900 low-income Washington children of $7,500 "opportunity scholarships" to attend private schools.

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Bolingbrook, IL

#1 Mar 9, 2009
The main premise of this editorial is totally brain-dead: Every child should be able to go to private school regardless of means. What happens to the quality of the private schools once you've crammed every kid in America into them? Keep in mind, vouchers don't even achieve that since the amount that's given to families is not sufficient to cover the whole cost of tuition; many families will inevitably be left in even worse schools after public funding disappears to pay for vouchers. Of course, that fact is again elided in this piece so that the Trib can again make the teachers unions the scapegoat for everything that's wrong in American schools. The obvious truth is that private schools get better results *because* they are private. Let the public schools cherry-pick their pupils and everything will get nice and rosy for them too. Unfortunately that isn't reality. Reality is the need to fix the existing system, but don't look for any help with that from the union-fixated Trib.
u gotta be kidding

Hoffman Estates, IL

#2 Mar 9, 2009
Let's give them vouchers for an amount equal to what is spent on public school students. Let's see where the teachers migrate.

Hampshire, IL

#3 Mar 9, 2009
Typical Durbin. Unions are more important than anything else. This man has no common sense what so ever.
Steve K

Leawood, KS

#4 Mar 9, 2009
I live in Naperville where some of the best public schools exist. But even they could improve. Everyone needs competition to elevate their "game". Competition fosters innovation, and efficiency; both of which are sorely lacking in public schools. And vouchers foster competition. They need to be expanded, not eliminated.
Let me remind you

Lake Villa, IL

#5 Mar 9, 2009
I remember the Tribune endorsing both Obama & Durbin for their respective offices. Their memory is good just not very long!

Midlothian, IL

#6 Mar 9, 2009
The day that Obama sends his girls to the crime factories known as DC public schools will be the day he have any credibility in stripping the vouchers away from 1900 poor, black kids who only want a way out of that hell hole of a city and its poor excuse for a public school system.

Citrus Heights, CA

#7 Mar 9, 2009
It's pretty easy to sum up the Democrat Party: "Party before country, teacher's unions before kids."

Naugatuck, CT

#8 Mar 9, 2009
I don't understand the premise of this story. Are you saying that you're SURPRISED at what the Democrats are about to do? Because, one would have to assume, that you've been away, somewhere, for the last 40 YEARS. You assume that Democrats CARE about peoples'. That Democrats strive to FIX things. EVERYBODY KNOWS, that the Public Schools, espescially in the Inner Cities, SUCK! That's why THEY don't send THEIR KIDS to them. That's why the Beuracracy, of the TEACHERS' UNIONS, don't send THEIR KIDS to them. But year after year, the DEMOCRATS, like they've been known to do in the PAST, are standing in the Schoolhouse Doorway. BLOCKING it. I see no difference in this form of SEGREGATION, from that of the SCHOOL SEGREGSTION of the past. George Wallace was beholden to his White Constituents. The DEMOCRATS, to their Teachers' UNION Contributors. The kids OUTSIDE the door, look the same to me. The SURPRISING thing, is that ANYONE would be surprised.

Schaumburg, IL

#9 Mar 9, 2009
Steve K wrote:
I live in Naperville where some of the best public schools exist. But even they could improve. Everyone needs competition to elevate their "game". Competition fosters innovation, and efficiency; both of which are sorely lacking in public schools. And vouchers foster competition. They need to be expanded, not eliminated.
This is 100% right, IMO. It is ridiculous to say that vouchers will open the floodgates to private schools, ruining them and bankrupting public systems. You still need to apply to private school and parents need to navigate the system, come up with money, commit to the school, etc. No easy task! The brightest kids with supportive families have a better future with this system--isn't that worth protecting? What is Durbin thinking?

Good for the Trib for running this, good for Duncan for supporting vouchers, boo to Durbin.

Most people in this country don't have good public schools and they don't even know what a good school program would look like. Vouchers give a chance to compare, so everyone can raise their game. Expand them.

If my taxes are going through the roof at least let some good come of it. No more sinecures for bad teachers. High expectations for all. That's the American way.

Evergreen, CO

#10 Mar 9, 2009
Gore-tex is wrong. Most private schools do not 'cherry-pick' their students. I went to a Catholic gradeschool and ANYONE was allowed in. Period.

There are some that limit which students can get it, but that is also true of public charter schools. So, your point is false.

This is nothing more than protecting teachers' unions. Period.

D.C. spends over $24,000 per year on each student. Giving these kids a voucher for $7,500 actually saves money as schools are paid on the number of kids attending. So, the government SAVES $33,000 on these two students each year, and they get a better education.

I am sorry that reality eludes you.

Evergreen, CO

#11 Mar 9, 2009
Democrats want these kids (a majority are minorities) to drop out or get a poor education and above all... to stay poor. That keeps them voting for Democrats. They won't admit it, but that is the truth.
say what

Schaumburg, IL

#12 Mar 9, 2009
Private and parochial schools CAN and DO "cherry pick" their students. They can refuse admittance to anyone for any reason. They can also throw anyone out for any reason. They demand obediance to the 'rules', and parental involvement. They do NOT have to subject their students to the ridiculous No Child Left Behind testing, the printing and "grading" of which benefits not the students, but the cronies of the politicians who do that printing and evaluating.

When we allow public schools to get back to actual teaching and let them set and adhere to some reasonable expectations, they will do fine. Under the current set-up, they have to take ALL students and try to keep them in school regardless of behavior. Parents simply use the schools as a babysitting service and complain loudly about any teacher who even attempts to set reasonable rules for behavior.

The unbelievable degree of disprespect for the teachers and other students is destroying our schools. Let's tell it like it REALLY is!

San Diego, CA

#13 Mar 9, 2009
So where is the press pounding this story over and over on this matter don;t let this B.Ser get awy with this crap where are the comunity marches where is your leloved ACORN HMMMMM?

United States

#14 Mar 9, 2009
Well, say what, if you want to tell it like it is, then tell the truth about public scholls- too often, they're failing the kids they're supposed to serve. Don't blame the No Child Left Behind Act- schools need some form of accountability, and too many have gotten waivers as it is. If you are going to provide taxpayer-funded education, then you can't cherry-pick your students. Private and charter schools may be able to select their students, but they quite often take the struggling public school students. Teachers' unions routinely fight any changes in schools, including longer school days, longer school years. If public schools can't compete with private and charter schools, then students should be allowed to go to schools that will best serve them.
Timothy Robinson

New London, MO

#15 Mar 9, 2009
I'd be more inclined to buy your criticism of this if the Chicago Tribune had done ANY unbiased reporting during the 2008 presidential election. As such, you were 100 percent in the bag for Obama, so don't act offended or shocked when something like this comes up.
If the CT had done its homework, it might know that Obama was against school vouchers from the beginning. After all, God forbid that children from low-income families needing services provided by private schools (like students with special needs) would mix with Sasha and Malia Obama at their high-end D.C. private school.
So in conclusion, it's not about what school provides the best education for the child, but rather, it's about keeping private schools open in order to receive funds from rich parents. Those that can't afford such schools will be MORE THAN FINE in public education, even though it may not address the needs of individual student learning.
Smoke n Mirrors


#16 Mar 9, 2009
Vouchers won't make any difference. Dysfuncitonal homes, dire neighborhoods, roaming gangs, wide-spread poverty, drugs, genetics and other realities dictate results. Even if vouchers were issued, all that the truly decent and productive private schools would do is to gross up the tuition costs to keep the undesireables out. If those elements of society [see above] are given vouchers it really won't make much of a difference to the results. Since we can't have them used in religious schools - the constitution forbids it, and decent private schools will still keep 'em out, all it will accomplish is to reduce funding for marginal public schools. Now, I'm not saying closing marginal public schools is at all a bad idea, but, I think - if we're really to address the issue of failing education in America, we'd better start with addressing failed society basics in America. Unless and until we address the core underlying issues of single-parent households, poverty, illiteracy {at the adult level}, having sent our manufacturing jobs overseas, the absurdity of tens of millions of illegals draining our public programs dry, etc, etc, you can issue all the vouchers in the world and it won't change a damn thing for the better.
Daniel Thornton

Winfield, WV

#17 Mar 9, 2009

Do as we say not as we do.......... things that make you say hummmmm...

Saint Louis, MO

#18 Mar 9, 2009
Private school teachers could unionize if they wanted to, right?

Eliminating vouchers is right out of the Dem's playbook prepared by the teacher's union. Performance standards and competition aren't in that playbook, because the entitlement mentality is part of the union's DNA.

“Not a number, I am a free man”

Since: Jul 08

Baltimore, MD

#19 Mar 9, 2009
If this administration and congress would concentrate more on fixing the problems with the economy rather than pushing ideology, we'd all benefit.

Of course, they'd actually need a plan to fix the economy.


#20 Mar 9, 2009
Why should BO's people make vouchers possible? The Obama administration wants not well-educated citizens, but rather "properly" indoctrinated voters who are beholden to socialist government.

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