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Changing society vs changing schools

Posted By: Laura Hornbeck on August 6, 2002
 
Mr. Weinles' comments about the possible detrimental effects of school choice are centered on the very real fact that it is society, not society's schools, that determine the value of education. One glaring corollary has not been addressed by Mr. Weinles' and other school choice/voucher opponents: Quite simply, a system change in which parents are rightly recognized as the responsible parties in the education equation will be a system which is changed for the better.

Right now, we have a system which implicitly places responsibility for the education of a child upon the shoulders of the schools -- i.e., the government. Parents in many districts literally feel they are turning over the responsibility for their children's education to the teachers and administrators of the school district. Parents feel powerless to implement meaningful change in this system. But if a system of vouchers were implemented, it would have the undeniable effect of changing that attitude. Parents would know that they were responsible for choosing where their child attends school.

Right now, parents in rural and poor areas literally have no choice. They and their children are captives to the government school.

No matter how poor, no matter how uneducated, parents want a better life for their kids. Given the choice, they will always choose a school that they believe will prepare their children for a healthy, prosperous adulthood.

The time has come for this change. No longer can this society justify trapping poor families in a teacher-union-controlled system which has become an employment vehicle for adults, rather than the service to real-life children it is supposed to be.

Laura Hornbeck
Van Alstyne, Texas education activist
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 Research Opportunities by Ronald Nuttall on July 2, 2002
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