Political Education

A Dirty Word in Educational Politics, Voucher

Vouchers. While a dirty word in politics, it’s exactly what Romney wants to do.  If it looks like a voucher and smells like a voucher, it’s a voucher. (Just like Chief Justice Roberts said: the health care mandate is a tax.)

Anyway, what is it, exactly, that Romney wants to do?  He wants to bring a more business-like model into education–giving parents to ability to “choose with their feet” where their child goes to school.  Honestly, that doesn’t seem horrible–I have been in Bulgaria for the last two years, and parents have that right here, and it works.  Schools compete for the students, and want to hire the best teachers and have the best afterschool programs, at least in the area I worked in.

Are there problems with this model in the United State? Yes. Big ones.  In Bulgaria, there are specialized schools; not all schools are meant for the same kind of student.  I could see problems with overcrowding, which would lead to lower educational quality, and the fact is that this idea isn’t tested.  How do we know this would make education better?  Should we always blame the teacher?  Where is the student’s responsibility?  Let me know what you think.

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