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School Vouchers

I do not favor the wholesale issuance of school vouchers. 

Some, who favor vouchers, favor the complete replacement of public schools with private schools.  (That probably is the right wing agenda.)  If that were to come about, we would eventually end up with a system of good schools for the rich and inadequate schools for the poor.  Tax savings would be had by decreasing the value of the vouchers.  The rich would be able to supplement the vouchers while the poor would not.

We will be better served by solving the problems in our public schools.  Lack of discipline in our schools is a major problem.  School officials should have the authority to separate the students who intimidate other students and disrupt classrooms. 

As in any enterprise, we should ensure that we take advantage of  the best opportunities for success first.  In the classroom, the best opportunities are found with the students who want to learn and will behave.  We certainly shouldn't sacrifice the futures of our willing learners to apply all of our resources on the unwilling.  That is exactly what is happening in many schools.

We can't force unwilling students to learn.  We will have more success if we acknowledge that if they are determined to fail, we can't stop them.  But, we must give them the opportunity to succeed.   If a student, who has been removed from the regular classroom due to behavior, repents and asks to return, you give him another chance.  You forgive but you don't forget.

Some students are simply rebels who will not conform to the rules as teenagers.  It doesn't always mean they will fail in the long run.  Sinclair Community College has untold numbers of success stories in which students who resisted learning in high school embraced it in college.  One father told me proudly that his son had turned his life around at Sinclair and had gone on to graduate from Purdue University.  He said that, when his son was in high school, it took all of his energy to keep him out of jail.