The Instigator
tarsjake
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
arrivaltime
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

School vouchers

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/5/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,169 times Debate No: 1404
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (8)

 

tarsjake

Pro

School vouchers are great. They reward hard working students at bad school with the opportunity to go and get a good education at a decent school, it's not being prejudice it is rewarding good students. Privatizing the school system is a great idea.
arrivaltime

Con

I believe public education is already vastly underfunded. As you say, these students who would get vouchers are at "bad schools"-- this is because of poorly allocated funds. What would deem a "good student" when the bad students are often bad because of the poor quality of their schools? I agree that schools ARE in bad shape but the answer is not to give vouchers but to more properly fund our public schools.
Debate Round No. 1
tarsjake

Pro

it has been proven that sinking more money into schools does not help. We need to create competition. WE need to let the students decide what school they want to go to, if the school has bad teachers and they get bad test scores you send them to another school and and the bad school has to close.
arrivaltime

Con

Please provide evidence that "sinking money" into schools doesn't help. Better funding can provide new textbooks, computers, and an overall improved learning environment. If you see the difference between an inner city public school and a rich community's public school, you will know it is money that is the issue-- private schools function well because of the money they have, and public schools that do poorly are severly underfunded. Teachers at some schools get paid essentially $10 an hour for while their at school and a lot of unpaid hours for their grading and other work they do outside of the building. Increasing salaries would increase moral and therfore how they're teaching. Along with that, many text books are outdated (my textbook in public school for World History had a map of the Soviet Union) and made to appeal to sometimes entirely different generations. Public schools lack new technology-- they need more computer labs and better libraries.

I'm afraid I don't see your logic. In your opening statements you said good students would be able to leave bad schools, and now you're saying that bad students would put into the private schools.

Private schools can still reject bad students, so closing schools that aren't doing well will not be effective and just overcrowd the other public schools.

In the end you would be dooming the students who are already struggling even more.
Debate Round No. 2
tarsjake

Pro

No, if we privatize schools it will create "competition"; i know that's a horrible word for our children to hear, but we need to stop the cycle of the teachers unions not working hard enough for our children's education.
arrivaltime

Con

But what would determine the competition? And would those who "lost" in the competition be stuck in even more underfunded schools? I understand you are interested in the idea of vouchers but I don't think you understand what they would entail, or at least the type you're implying.

The difference between private schools and public schools is mostly that private schools have a lot more money, so instead of offering The $20,000 for one student to go to a private school, why don't we give the money to public schools?

Vouchers would exclude all the people that the school system really needs to help, and if the government were ever to actually spend that much, it'd be much more beneficial to go to public schools.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
(He challenged me specifically, I didn't just pick it out).
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
Why waste my time doing a meaningful debate with someone who obviously doesn't know what they're doing?
Posted by Farooq 9 years ago
Farooq
Neither of you are very good.
Posted by Robert_Lee_Hotchkiss 9 years ago
Robert_Lee_Hotchkiss
Here is the problem with school vouchers. They would create a system of education where schools would be even more tilted in favour of the well off that they are already are. Many kids are already in private schools. If you gave a school voucher to these children's parents they would spend a hundred percent of that voucher in addition to what they are already paying. The voucher is in effect a huge subsidy for the already well off.

A poor person however, wouldn't have anything to add to the voucher. To make matters worse the vouchers given to the middle class parents would cause inflation in the education market. The poor students would be getting much worse schools than the wealthy which would just exasperate the already growing class system in the states.

The most likely outcome would be that the poorest students and those with disabilities and discipline problems would be left in virtually unfunded schools that would be virtual hells on earth.

Some things just don't work in a market system. Imagine if the military gave vouchers for gear. The rich people would be riding in tanks and the poor people would be wearing paper hats for helmets.

Similarly we want students tor receive funds according to their needs not according to their parent's income level.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
than your POSTS*...ugh I need sleep, sorry.
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
rofl wait tars

sorry your comment seemed a lot more informed at least than your comment so i didn't realize it was the same person
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
We have poor scores in some public schools because of failed reforms to decrease dropout rates. It has nothing to do with a lack of competition. Were that the case, no public school would ever stand a chance to perform well. That, of course, is not the case. Haven't you ever wondered why some public schools succeed while others fail? Or have you simply accepted the totally false idea that all public schools fail? If you've accepted the latter, then I'm sorry, but you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. I am a product of public schools and am doing just fine.

It is impossible to instill true competition in education because that entails accurately judging each school and student while on even ground. Standardized tests are imperfect at best, and judging an inner-city school against a wealthy suburban school is just stupid. Would you judge the quality of a dentist based on the number of cavities that his clientele have, regardless of the education level surrounding his practice and their ability to maintain good oral hygiene? I would certainly hope not. What voucher supporters tend to do is hand public schools a fixed deck and then wonder why they can't win. They get underfunded while surrounded by violent and poor neighborhoods, then you claim they are hopeless and inferior to private schools and therefore take even more money from them in the form of vouchers.
When the proper reforms are implemented, such as reinvesting in talented and motivated teachers and administrators and renovating the schools so they don't look like prisons, in addition to a more rigorous curriculum, public schools perform on par or better than private schools, largely because public schools are held to higher standards than private schools. To claim that private schools are better is largely just a guess since private schools don't have to take the same tests as public schools. Without this knowledge, how are parents suppose to make informed decisions?
Posted by arrivaltime 9 years ago
arrivaltime
Too bad you weren't debating me tars, your friend here didn't make much of a case.
Posted by tarsjake 9 years ago
tarsjake
Chavis's charter school is an example of how a little innovation can create a school that can change kids' lives. You don't get innovation without competition.

To give you an idea of how competitive American schools are and how U.S. students performed compared with their European counterparts, we gave parts of an international test to some high school students in Belgium and in New Jersey.

Belgian kids cleaned the American kids' clocks, and called them "stupid."

We didn't pick smart kids to test in Europe and dumb kids in the United States. The American students attend an above-average school in New Jersey, and New Jersey's kids have test scores that are above average for America.

Lov Patel, the boy who got the highest score among the American students, told me, "I'm shocked, because it just shows how advanced they are compared to us."

The Belgian students didn't perform better because they're smarter than American students. They performed better because their schools are better. At age 10, American students take an international test and score well above the international average. But by age 15, when students from 40 countries are tested, the Americans place 25th.

American schools don't teach as well as schools in other countries because they are government monopolies, and monopolies don't have much incentive to compete. In Belgium, by contrast, the money is attached to the kids -- it's a kind of voucher system. Government funds education -- at many different kinds of schools -- but if a school can't attract students, it goes out of business.

Belgian school principal Kaat Vandensavel told us she works hard to impress parents.

She told us, "If we don't offer them what they want for their child, they won't come to our school." She constantly improves the teaching, saying, "You can't afford 10 teachers out of 160 that don't do their work, because the clients will know, and won't come to you again."

"That's normal in Western Europe,"
Posted by mindjob 9 years ago
mindjob
Vouchers don't reward "good" students, they only allow parents who are already more involved in their childrens' education the ability to take money out of the public system and give it to private, mostly religious schools. Even this sounds well enough, but no reputable study has shown that these students improve at all. In fact, in a couple private schools in Ohio, they performed worse than their public school counterparts. Milwaukee was the first school district to implement vouchers back in 1990. The state legislature hired a team of researchers to evaluate the program. After five years of showing extremely poor oversight on how the money was spent and no improvement by the students from before they received vouchers to after, the state legislature discontinued the evaluation, not the program. That's because voucher programs are more a method of private school operators and churches to get their hands on public money. Ohio's state legislature also hired researchers to evaluate their voucher program. These researchers found the same corruption and lack of results as the ones in Wisconsin. The Government Accountability Office even conducted their own study for a voucher supporting Senator, yet found them to be ineffective and a waste of public money. Florida's voucher program was opted out of by over 90% of eligible private schools because they feared whatever strings might be attached to government money. I fail to see what kind of choice that offers students. Florida's program was also ruled unconstitutional by the state supreme court in 2006 because it both violated the separation of church and state and disenfranchised public school. These three programs have cost public schools 10s, and in some cases 100s of millions of dollars, all for no results and private schools choosing the students, not vice versa. I know the debate still has two rounds to go, but I just couldn't contain myself. Sorry. Keep fighting the good fight arrivaltime! :)
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by tarsjake 8 years ago
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