Sunday, August 10, 2008

Obama is wrong on school vouchers

He panders to the teachers Union for the votes. Vouchers help low income families the most because it allows them to send their kids to better schools. They don't have to put up with the inequality of most urban school systems.

From CBS News:

In an address to the National Urban League, John McCain employed the same line of attack on Barack Obama that he used when he spoke to the NAACP a couple of weeks ago, saying of the Democrat's education policies, "his ideas are not as impressive as his rhetoric."

“In remarks to the American Federation of Teachers last month, Sen. Obama dismissed public support for private school vouchers for low-income Americans as ‘tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice.’ All of that went over well with the teachers union, but where does it leave families and their children who are stuck in failing schools?” McCain asked. “If Sen. Obama continues to defer to the teachers unions, instead of committing to real reform, then he should start looking for new slogans.”

1 comment:

David S said...

Milwaukee has been using vouchers since 1990. Unfortunately data used to track student performance was only collected for 5 years, up to 1995, and it showed no real improvement for the students.

There is still strong debate about the program. In the 2006/2007 year Milwaukee spent $100 million on the program for over 15,000 students. But the strong implications of the program is that Milwaukee students would be, academically, about the same without the program. However, parents on the other hand are overall much happier about the school choices, and therein lies the dilemma. Parents are happy but is it really better for the students in the long run, and is the state spending money effectively?

One of the biggest impacts has been to parochial schools and other church-run schools. This programs have had massive increase in funding as parents overwhelmingly send their kids to these schools through vouchers. Its up to debate again whether tying the kids into a religiously centered education system will be better for them academically in the long run.

Not many other states have ventured into the voucher system partly because of Milwaukee's experiments.