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Topic: vouchers, redux
Replies: 1   Last Post: Sep 3, 2000 3:56 PM

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Michael Paul Goldenberg

Posts: 7,041
From: Ann Arbor, MI
Registered: 12/3/04
vouchers, redux
Posted: Sep 3, 2000 2:23 PM
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Today's ANN ARBOR NEWS Letters section offered the following:

Voucher proposal will do nothing for public schools

I challenge the Rev. Levon Yuille and any proponent of school vouchers to
bring forth a single person involved in the public schools, at any level,
who intentionally and knowingly desires to be "rewarded for failure." I don
not believe they will ever find that person, because he or she does not
exist. The people who serve our public school students are dedicated, hard
working, talented individuals who are committed to one of the highest ideals
in the United States, a free and equitable education for all.

Larry Lazotte, speaking to participants at the Michigan Association of
School Boards Summer Academy, stated the following: "If the achievement data
for students from the lowest 5 percent of the economically disadvantaged
public school districts in the United States was excluded, the United States
would rank second in the world in student achievement scores."

The truth is that these are many of the students which private education
has systematically excluded through high tuition costs, selective entrance
criteria, parental participation guidelines, ability to learn and behavioral
standards.

Proponents of Proposal 1 are championing their cause under the slogan of
"parental choice." Parents will not have any more choice under this proposal
than they have now.

The choice to admit a student into a private school will remain with that
school, regardless of the fact that a parent is in possession of a voucher.
Private schools will continue the practice of selective admission of
students, based solely upon their established guidelines.

Under this proposal, the establishment of a separate and unequal
educational system is assured. [emphasis added].

Public education in the United States can be better, and those directly
engaged in public education are dedicated to that improvement. However, the
use of public funds to pay for a selective and private educational system
will do nothing to improve the public schools.

The success of our nation and the people of our nation are grounded in the
free, open and equitable public schools which seek to educate all students,
not just a select few.

Tommy G. Burdette
Ypsilanti


I'm not sure I concur with the entirety of Burdette's opening paragraph or
with the first sentence of the penultimate paragraph as absolute statements.
I can attest that there are people teaching in public K-12 schools, AS WELL
AS IN PRIVATE AND PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, who expect to be
rewarded for failure; there are burned-out, cynical teachers and professors
all over the place who certainly are just "putting in time and collecting
paychecks." I can't attest to what goes on in private K-12 schools, but I'd
be shocked if there were NO examples of burn-outs and check-collectors among
their faculties.

But that is beside the point. I would enjoy hearing how voucher advocates
would refute Burdette's fundamental argument and its extension: that there
is NOTHING to stop private schools from pursuing discriminatory practices;
that they are not obligated to keep their worst students (academic or
behavioral), and that in many cases are free to be as elitist as they want
to be, regardless of vouchers. I doubt that a host of kids from the worst
sections of Bed-Stuy, Harlem, the South Bronx, Brownsville, or East New
York, to name but a few troubled NYC neighborhoods, will be admitted to
Nightengale-Bamford, Horace Mann, the Dalton School, or the rest of New
York's elite private schools, vouchers or no.
------
Michael Paul Goldenberg Washtenaw Technical Middle College
5900 Bridge Rd #715 LA 230L
Ypsilanti, MI 48197 Ann Arbor, MI 48106

effective 10/1/00 -

7799 Kookaburra Ct. #207
Dexter, MI 48130

home 734 482-0497 work 734 973-3410
cell 734 604-8559

"For, in Many ways. . .the air is more a part of our world than we would
like to admit."
David Mamet - THE DUCK VARIATIONS




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