The original article: http://www.campustimes.org/2011/02/03/school-vouchers-would-increase-freedom/comment-page-1/#comment-185
Mr. Russell would probably be thrilled to see America’s public schools fall into the dustbin of history. To that end his creative use of statistics is helpful in making his case against the institution that conservatives have been weakening since Reagan came into office.
To mention that federal spending on elementary and secondary education has gone up 260% since the 1970s ignores the following:
1) Prior to 1965 there was virtually no federal spending on education
2) A fair amount of the money spent since 1970 has gone to wealthy districts/schools while skipping over poor/struggling districts
3) Much of the progress that was being made in the 70s was wiped out by Reagan’s gutting of the department of Education
Of course words like “school choice” sound great because who doesn’t like options, but research has shown Charter schools are not a magic bullet. More than half of all Charter schools are worse/no better than public schools.
The problems that our public schools face is that the worst schools are filled with students whose parents lack the political power to ensure proper funding, teachers, facilities, and supplies. By allowing vouchers and the exodus of students that would follow, this problem would only be exacerbated, leaving those most vulnerable in our society with no education.
Instead of hollowing out our public schools with vouchers, funding them with appropriate student weighting (more money for special education, English Language Learners, impoverished/homeless children) would do far more to improve the quality of education in this country.
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