Vouchers and School Choice Now! Essay

774 Words 4 Pages
School Choice Now!

This is America the Free, the leader of the free world. I have choice in many aspects of my life. For one of the most important concerns I have - the education of my children - my choices are limited. The government's rigid control over public education choice has got to stop. While it is true I can send my child to a private school, I must incur costs above and beyond what I already provide to society for public education through taxes. I can afford this; many people cannot. Those people have no choice.

Is choice desirable? Yes. As expressed by the Constitution of the United States, our capitalistic society certainly believes so. Teachers believe so. Teachers in public schools in large cities are
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My beliefs of what schools must do to be successful fall with the "reinvention" approach described by Finn and Ravitch (1995). Finn and Ravitch detail the reinvention paradigm with the following tenants:

* decentralized control,

* entrepreneurial management, and

* grassroots initiatives.

All these tenants fall within a framework of publicly defined standards and accountability. These standards must be both comprehensive and minimal - a difficult but not impossible conundrum to address.

This approach would truly give us the diversity Americans are so proud of and continually demand. On top of the Finn and Ravitch framework I would add accessibility for all students to the school of choice. Public schools must be open to the public, financed by the public, and educationally and fiscally accountable to the public.

I would like to see private educational institutions continue to thrive. They are a necessary "pressure relief" valve for certain portions of our society. Private schools could continue as they have, or, if they wanted access to public funds, they would have to agree to the mandates the public would impose on them.

I believe in parental choice in public education, but choice in and of itself is not enough. All parents - regardless of socio-economic status - must be able to access the school of their choice. They must have the financial capability to send their