Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The endless debate...vouchers

Vouchers, school choice, whatever you want to call it, is not only about giving those children choice, removing them from bad public schools and putting them into good private schools. It is also about creating incentives to improve the public schools. This is a major piece opponents are missing. In various studies such as this one in Florida, it shows that "...we find that schools receiving an “F” grade are more likely to focus on low-performing students, lengthen the amount of time devoted to instruction, adopt different ways to organize the day and learning environment of the students and teachers, increase resources available to teachers...". Incentives do matter, competition will matter, and schools can improve. We only need to create the atmosphere for change. While this program in Florida focuses only on the schools that received a F grade, it shows there is the possibility of change. Now imagine, if we could manipulate this program and create a national program, or at the very least implement similar programs on the state level. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a great education system in the U.S.?
We have been shown over and over again through our markets that competition does work. Why can't people welcome change? What are they afraid of? The only thing to fear is fear itself, right?

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