Friday, January 27, 2006

School Vouchers

Vouchers, as a matter of public policy, seem to me to be primarily a reactionary ploy aimed at gutting the public school system.

As to whether they are a good idea in themselves, I tend to think they're not: it seems to me that school vouchers just provide subsidies for private schools and do little to foster competition or allow parents meaningful choices. Vouchers allow beneficent free market forces to operate? I'm with Jonathan Kozol, who said:
I've never in my entire life seen any evidence that the competitive free market, unrestricted, without a strong counterpoise within the public sector, will ever dispense decent medical care, sanitation, transportation, or education to the people. It's as simple as that.
Maybe I would support school vouchers if they would provide every student the means to attend Exeter or Andover. Otherwise they're just another happy economic model that doesn't cross over into the real world.


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