When you give parents of school-aged children the choice of where to send their children, responsible parents will want to send their kids to good schools that make the kids work hard and learn more. That will provide competition in the schools, and lower-performing schools will have to work harder to attract students.
I am in favor of vouchers for students, because of the poor education that some schools are providing. If parents and students had a choice to go to a high performing school, over one that is failing or just average, then perhaps those schools would evaluate their reasons for failing and make changes. Students who want to excel should not be forced to go to a school that is barely getting by and doesn't offer the same quality of education that other schools do.
In today's struggling economy, not everyone can choose any school, and are forced to stay inside the public system. The public school system, in most cases, is overworked and over-populated. Providing an alternative could eventually bring in a balance that will help the education system become more balanced.
Government-run schools have a lot of silly rules in place, which include not allowing prayer in school, and some even go as far as not having a Christmas holiday party. Parents should be allowed to choose which school their child would be attending, and should not have to forfeit their tax money when choosing to go a private school. Many parents would love to send their children to another school, but can not do so because they can not afford it. If they would have access to the tax money they gave towards schools, they would be able to do it.
America is the land of the free, and we should have choices when it comes to the education of our kids. No one should be forced to send their kids to a substandard school with problems because they can't afford to send them to private school. Traditionally, competition makes companies, even schools, strive to perform better.
The voucher system should be used to introduce choice and competition between schools, because some public schools are very low quality. With the voucher system, parents could transfer their children from poor schools to better schools. Just the threat of losing students would be motivation for the poor schools to improve.
Parents should not have to pay for public schooling that they are not utilizing, if they are already paying for private education for their children. Using a voucher system for schools would avoid this situation, and save parents money on education. It would also offer parents better choices, and introduce competition between separate schools.
We talk on and on about the problems in our education system. We poke it a little here, and change it just a bit there. Perhaps it's time to look at the education system, not as a social science experiment that has gone wrong, but as a business that dispenses education to a specific population of consumers. The education "business" is supposed to dispense a high level of knowledge and skill to children under the age of 18. It is failing to do this. When a business is failing, we look for the reasons: is the product over-priced, is the product one that is desired by the target consumers, is the product attractive to the potential consumers, is the product flawed? The product (education) is flawed. So perhaps it's time to consider some form of recall, as we would if an automobile had faulty brakes. We do not know what will work and, if we did, we would be doing it. We must try something other than what we have been doing. A voucher system is one of those "other" things we must try. The voucher system has the added advantage of serving as a poll, and showing us just what schools are working.
A voucher system should be used to introduce choice between schools because the existing tenure system allows incompetent teachers to remain in the schools.
With a voucher system, parents would have the option of transferring their children to a school with more competent teachers. The competition between schools would encourage hiring better teachers and releasing incompetent teachers.
No, a voucher system would be a bad idea when it comes to increasing choice and competition among schools.They would be free to reject any students they didn't feel made them look good so this would work to make the system even more inequitable in the future than it is now.
The public declares how much they are willing to pay for school, through tax levies. The government has created school boards to allow interested citizens to advocate how this money should be spent. Without vouchers, opting out of the public school system has an individual cost associated with it, since the parents then bear the cost of educating their children. With vouchers, education becomes an entitlement, rather than a community benefit. As an entitlement, all citizens no longer have a voice in how their money is being spent, and concerned parents are more likely to use their entitlement money outside of the public system.
While giving students a choice in schools is a wonderful idea, vouchers take money away from existing public schools, and they will significantly damage the system for those who wish to continue using it. Furthermore, vouchers have the ability to take taxpayer money and put it in the hands of religious schools, which is something I am very uncomfortable with. I would rather see us work at improving our existing public education system.
My area is trying out the voucher system with schools, and they have not seen any noticeable difference in overall performance of students before and after the voucher system. There have been issues with vouchers being distributed improperly, causing an uproar among parents who feel the system isn't impartial. I believe we would be better served to continue with the magnet system, where outstanding students can enroll in magnet (higher learning level) schools, based on their test scores and teacher recommendations.