School Voucher System
School voucher grants by the governments serve the purpose of improving educational standard of the children who belong to low-income families. This system is aimed to provide school tuition that can be paid to both public and private schools. The inspiration behind school vouchers system is to present to parents an open choice of educational institutions and approaches for their children. Another idea behind this system is to pressurize public schools to compete with the private schools and provide a better educational culture for their students. In the United States of America, the first school-voucher program was instituted in 1990 in Milwaukee, Wis., that was funded by the state. Later in 1995, a federal bill was proposed to set up pilot school-voucher plans in twenty six cities ("school vouchers").
However, school vouchers (also known as opportunity scholarships) have been a hot issue since their system's inception. According to the critics of this concept, this system can eventually destroy the American public-school system if applied extensively. The federal authorities failed to deal with the matter of the constitutionality of taxpayer-financed vouchers in 1998 when the Supreme Court decided to avoid the assessment of a state court ruling that advocated the use of vouchers in Milwaukee. By the end of the twentieth century, a mixture of voucher programs were being put into operation in thirty-one American states and about 65,000 students utilized this system. As a matter of fact, there is no undeniable substantiation that the vouchers usage by the low-income families has improved the education of students, either at private or public schools. Similarly, it is also not clear whether poor educational results are the blunder of the schools or the consequence of other reasons ("school vouchers").
School voucher systems are of different kinds. However, all of them are engaged in paying state or federal money to the…… [Read More]
Class Size vs. School Vouchers on the Achievement of Minority Students
The continuous achievement gap between African-American students and their white peers is a major problem in American education. The gap in fourth-grade reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) diminished in the 1970s, but since the early 1980s it has remained unchanged.
Evidence from many studies suggests that African-American students may benefit more than other students from improvement in educational quality. For example, class size effects have been greatest for African-American children.
This paper focuses on the effects of two programs -- voucher program and programs that reduce class size -- on the achievement of African-American children, and relative studies on both minority and non-minority students. Evidence for effects of both programs is presented. In many studies in many locations, both voucher programs class size reduction has been found to significantly increase student performance. The policy implications of these findings are discussed and presented to determine whether class size reduction is a better alternative than voucher programs for increasing student performance.
The impact of class size vs. voucher programs on student achievement has been a greatly debated issue for years. Educational vouchers were proposed by Milton Friedman in the 1950s as a means of improving the quality of elementary and secondary education (Molnar, 1998). In recent years, the use of vouchers has resurfaced, particularly as a method to help minority students. Vouchers provide public money for students to attend private schools.
Several experimental voucher programs have been introduced in the past decade. One of the oldest and largest is a pilot program begun in 1990 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Initial analyses of this data have suggested little or no improvement in the quality of education as the result of a voucher system (Molnar, 1998). These results, however, are quite controversial and are the subject of a good deal of debate. More recent pilot programs in New York City and Cleveland are now providing additional evidence…… [Read More]
Throughout the nation the American public has clamored for school change and reform. One of the alternatives that has moved to the forefront of the arena is the ability of parents to choose the public school that their children will attend without geographic boundaries and mandates.
Experts continue to debate whether or not school choice ability will force the hand of the public school system to make the desired changes. Some believe that parents having the ability to move their children to the school of their choice will force all schools to improve to compete, while others think it will harm the economically disadvantaged schools with little benefit to the then overcrowded wealthy schools. This paper presents a research proposal that addresses the question of school choice. This might include the choice to choose a different public school, choose to home school, and choose private school or another choice.
The paper uses literature reviews, a study proposal and a general discussion to provide a basis for the belief that such a study is timely and useful. The paper answers several questions including what the impact might be, who would make the choice and how would ability to choose change the allocation of funds structure currently in place. There were five sources used to complete this paper.
In most districts across the nation school choice is limited to private or public. Most districts have geographic boundaries and limitations that prevent parents from sending their children to the school of their choice and they were instead relegated to schools within their areas and their districts. Recently there has been a public outcry for public school reform and some are pushing for private school vouchers. There is however, a growing body of Americans who think the answer lies in the public school system but there needs to be a competitive air about the system for the system to work. School choice in the public school system would allow parents to place their children in the school…… [Read More]
These issues of professionalism and innovation seem to be a major problem in many public schools in America. In recent years these issues have come to light as teachers have been disciplined and even fired for their interactions with students that have been unprofessional and even criminal at times. Teachers have an ethical responsibility to act professionally and when they fell to do so the ability of students to excel academically is also compromised.
The aforementioned authors also mention the lack of innovation that often occurs as a result of using democratic methods. One of the reasons why school choice is even an issue is because the curriculums that have been implemented in public schools lack variety. Part of the reason for this lack of innovation has to do with bureaucracy and government mandates such as the No Child Left Behind Act. This particular act stifles innovation because many teachers feel compelled to teach to the test instead of teaching in a way that will allow students to remember and use what they have learned for a lifetime. In addition, teachers are afraid that if their students do not do well on these assessment tests, the school will be labeled as underperforming. In many cities students at schools that underperform are able to transfer to other schools in the district. This is where school choice can create a real problem for teachers who feel pressured to make sure their students do well even if it means not being innovative in their teaching methods.
Overall the research indicates that school choice can create real ethical dilemmas as it pertains to issues such as re-segregation, teacher professionalism and innovation and using democratic methods in the context of public schools and school choice. All of these ethical issues must be considered when determining whether or not school choice should be a policy adopted by a government.
The research seems to indicate that schools in many American cities are failing to properly educate students. From the perspective of the teaching profession it does appear that school choice may serve to purpose of weeding out teachers who are not qualified to hold the positions that they hold. School choice would likely create an environment in which only the most skilled teachers will be able to remain in the public school system. This would serve the purpose of increasing the number of schools…… [Read More]
The case snowballed and grew until the nation viewed Zelmanv Simmons-Harris as the test case to try the legal boundary between church and state. It was also looked to for the purpose of redefining the meaning and scope of public education in America.
Enacted by the Ohio legislature in 1995, the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program allows 4,000 low-income children to attend private religious and secular schools with up to $2,250 in public support (Vitteritti, 2002). Participating schools must cap their tuition at $2,500 a year; the state pays up to 90% of whatever the school charges, depending on family income (Vitteritti, 2002). Following a high-profile legal battle, the program was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in 1999, prompting opponents to take their case into federal court (Vitteritti, 2002). On the day before school was to open that year, federal district court judge Solomon Oliver struck down the program, ruling that the use of tax dollars to pay for children to attend religious schools offends the First Amendment's Establishment Clause (Vitteritti, 2002). Judge Oliver halted the acceptance of new students to the program while the case was being appealed. Soon thereafter, a sharply divided (5-4) U.S. Supreme Court took an unusual move to vacate Judge Oliver's injunction and allow the program to continue unaltered while the case is in litigation (Vitteritti, 2002)."
The case as appealed and in 2004 the United States Court of Appeals representing the sixth circuit upheld and affirmed the lower court's ruling.
The case of Zelman v Simmons-Harris was founded in the fact that within the Cleveland district 46 out of the 56 voucher participating schools were from religious teachings leaving very few options for the parent that wanted their child to attend a secular school on the voucher program (Vitteritti, 2002).
In Zelman, the Ohio attorney general further pointed out that schools participating in the Cleveland voucher program represent only a small portion of the range of choices available outside the regular public schools. In 1999 Cleveland had 23 magnet schools with 13,000 students in attendance and eight charter schools with 1,600 students in attendance, compared with the 3,800 in the voucher program (Vitteritti, 2002). The two-person majority refused to accept the range-of-choice argument, however, because the magnet and the charter programs were not enacted under the auspices of the voucher law that was being reviewed (Vitteritti,…… [Read More]
School Choice Program
This study aimed to determine the impact of school choice through a comparative study of two private schools, which serve primarily, or exclusively African-American students, and a public school.
Data in student achievement in math and reading and data on student attendance were used to determine the impact of choosing a school. Qualitative data derived from interviews with administrators and faculty as well as classroom observation were used to provide additional insight regarding the intellectual climate of the two private schools and the public school.
The focus of this study was on mathematics and reading in middle school students in both public and private schools in Milwaukee, as well as the focus of reform in the state -- reading in Michigan, writing in Vermont and California. This approach enabled me to adequately address my research questions and prove or disprove my hypotheses.
To begin, I conducted structured interviews with teacher educators and other providers of professional development, and district and school administrators in each school. Through these interviews, parental involvement, student achievement, knowledge of African-American culture, and degree of cultural awareness of students was determined. I interviewed teachers from each of the participating schools.
The purpose of the interviews and questionnaires was to obtain information on student performance, ultimately determining the impact of school choice on performance. All student performance reports were submitted without names, guaranteeing anonymity, unless permission was obtained to use names.
Scope and Limitations of Research
This study used a qualitative case study methodology, based on teacher interviews, supplemented by quantitative data analysis of the teacher questionnaires and student performance reports. Analysis of the qualitative data consisted of three stages.
The first stage involved "within case" analysis for each school site and resulted in a case study for each school. This case study was developed by observation of each school. The second stage entailed comparative analyses of the school, in which I compared and contrasted…… [Read More]
Her point is to get support for her views, and she did, because three months after she wrote this piece there was a rally at the State Capitol in Austin where 5,000 people called for school choice in front of the Capitol building. Therefore, her words helped people make up their minds and seek action from their legislators. However, she failed to convince the legislators, who did not even address school choice during the 2007 legislative session (Editors). Either this means that the legislators are not listening to the will of the people, or that her rhetoric failed to gain their support.
The media has certainly picked up this issue, and it is an issue all around the country, not just in Texas. The Milwaukee school district has had a voucher system like this for over sixteen years, and it has proven to be a money saving plan for taxpayers, and their dropout rates have decreased. However, some parents complain they have little recourse when they choose a school they are not happy with, so vouchers are not the only answer to public education, dropout rates, and other issues plaguing schools today. Jamie Story has an interesting theory, but her rhetoric outweighs her solid facts, and I would have felt much better if she had cited more concrete Milwaukee statistics in her article. She should have backed them up with where she got them, and given some real, usable numbers for the Texas taxpayer so they knew the program would not cost them more money in the end.… [Read More]
School Finance: Its Economics and Politics
School financing in America
Revenue sources for federal and state governments
Judicial reviews of school finance policy with evolving standards of equality
School-based decision making
Family choice of schooling
Reform of schooling-finance
Providing equality in educational opportunities to all is one of the cornerstones of American democracy. The founding fathers of America were aware of the necessity of having a population, which is educated since it enables an opportunity for all the citizens of the country to be successful. The necessity and the desire to create an environment where all children have equal opportunities for education to achieve success are now creating fundamental challenges in the field of education in America. In the 20th century, the issues which concerned school finance was about dealing with how to overcome fiscal disparities with the use of state and federal resources within a public school system. The public school system in the initial stages heavily depended on local funding. In the 21st century the issue concerning school finance system is how to improve the learning for all students, which is the fundamental purpose of education. How the performance of schools is affected as a result of the funding policies and practices is a very recent development. But this development has become a central important issue in the decision-making of school finance. Whatever be the issue in a debate, whether it is the role of federal government in education, revolt of the taxpayers, a lack of necessary infrastructure or increasing diversity the underlying problem is the same. It is about the issue of how to fund schools equitably and in an adequate manner. The paper has been divided into sub-sections dealing with several aspects of financing of education in America. (Kern;Richard, 1995)
School Financing in America:
In America policy makers have raised concern and educators as to find ways of making all its future citizens function in an effective manner, since the future society hold situations of highly complex and globally interconnected issues. As a result…… [Read More]
Private vs. Public Schools
Many parents find themselves caught in a dilemma when trying to decide on which choice of education to take for their children. They ask themselves whether to take their children to private schools or public schools. For a parent to choose the ideal school for their children they always have to take into consideration all the available options. They consider things like the cost of the school, how much time they will invest as a parent, the social impact that the school have on their children based on the specific need of their children as well as the family.
Private schools offer the best option for the parent who is in need of better and quality education for their children. Private schools have a nearly perfect graduation rates which market them a great deal. Their performance is better as compared to the public schools. This is evident in SAT scores used by CAPE in 2003 in demonstrating the positive impact that the private schools have. The average for private schools SAT verbal nationally was 507, and math was 519, while for public schools the average verbal was 504 and math 516. When it was broken down further, private schools which are religious affiliated have average SAT verbal of 535 and math 530. Among these, independent private schools were the ones who boasted the highest averages with verbal at 550 and math 573. This was affirmed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in standardized writing exams when it showed that 4th graders within private schools had a higher average of 13 points as compared to the one enrolled in public schools, reaching 8th grade their scores become 18 points higher as compared to public school students. At 12th grade the grade of the private school become 22 points higher as compared to the public schools.
Private schools always do not admit high number of students and that makes the ratio of teachers to students to be ideal and thus they can vest their interest in…… [Read More]
Educational Vouchers: Multiple Issues and Contradictory Results
The Merriman-Webster online dictionary offers three definitions for "voucher": "...a documentary record of a business transaction; a written affidavit or authorization; a form or check indicating a credit against future purchases or expenditures." None of the three even approaches the emotionally charged version of the term "voucher" when it comes to the current debate swirling around public vs. private schools. This paper digs into the "vouchers" - or "scholarships," or "subsidies," if you prefer - provided to families in several cities and states, to move their children from less desirable, academically troubled public schools to more desirable, for-profit private, mainly religious schools.
Long before there was any discussion about vouchers, Horace Mann of Massachusetts - the "Father of American public school education" - was in the vanguard of the movement (1837) to solidify support for quality public education, excellence in teacher training, and free libraries (North Carolina State University, 2003). As the first Secretary of the Massachusetts State Board of Education, Mann won financial support for public schools and doubled the wages of teachers. Later, his influence extended well beyond his home state. His "Common School Journal" (1841-1848) advocated - successfully, in most cases - for taxpayer support of public schools, that it was every child's American right to a free education, and that religious schools should pay their own way.
Meanwhile, in the late 1870s, the voucher concept's likely genesis emerged through the writings of English philosopher John Stuart Mill (Howell & Peterson, 2002). Mill, a celebrity thinker in the UK, favored compulsory pubic education albeit he insisted families should have the right to choose their children's schools. About his turbulent times, he said England was a "...battlefield for sects and parties, causing the time and labor which should have been spent in educating, to be wasted in quarreling...." Little could Mill have known that today, roughly one hundred thirty years later in the American educational system, there truly is a battlefield between the proponents of voucher system and those against taking money away from public schools. It pits a loose conservative coalition up against a loose coalition of unions, liberals, and church vs. state hard-liners.
Milwaukee & Cleveland and Evaluation Issues
Credit for the initiation…… [Read More]
Statement of the Problem
In the business world, when a small company manages to bring a superior product to market in a more cost-effective fashion than their larger counterparts, analysts sit up and take notice. Likewise, according to Wilensky (2002), "With the decline of K- 12 quality in most public schools in the United States since 1970, the average quality of parochial and public schools has converged" (p. 76). Because resources are by definition scarce, and the costs associated with the American public school system are truly enormous, it just makes good business sense to identify best practices and determine what works best under what conditions and private schools typically spend far less than their public school counterparts (Coleman). Nevertheless, the nation's schools are not factories and its pupils and students are not so many widgets to be churned out according to a standard cookbook approach to academic development. As Lavy (2007) emphasizes, "In the private sector, market mechanisms discipline firms into providing products that consumers value, but public schools lack market discipline. Schooling is compulsory and public, and students are simply assigned to attend their neighborhood school. Parents and students who are unhappy with what their schools offer generally have no alternative except to attend a private school or move to another neighborhood or city -- alternatives that are too costly for many" (p. 87).
On the one hand, the increased focus on private schools has resulted in a number of national- and state-level studies comparing the performance of private and public schools according to various metrics. On the other hand, though, the vast majority of these studies have been characterized by various flaws or constraints that make meaningful comparisons difficult or impossible. As Willms (1992) emphasizes, "In many cases comparisons between schools are made without making statistical adjustments for the types of pupils entering schools. Thus, the findings frequently suggest that the best-performing schools are those with the most favorable pupil intakes. These conclusions are often unwarranted" (p. 7). Certainly, complex problems require complex solutions and as Grimes points out, "Examination of economic education across public and private schools should provide clues to the effectiveness of third-party support. Further, by focusing on student performance in a specific discipline, rather than on general measures of student achievement, potential biases may be avoided" (p. 18). Therefore,…… [Read More]
Only one respondent had strong views regarding the difference between private and parochial school funding, stating that it was dangerous to fund schools with religious affiliations, because of the potential favoritism this could generate, and citing the need for a separation from church and state. Most of the respondents said that it did not matter whether parochial or secular private schools received funding, and they were more concerned about the justice of the funding than any religious issues at stake. Regarding support for special needs children whose needs were not being met by the conventional school system, almost all of the respondents agreed that this was a necessary instance of public funding for private education except for one, who stated that too many students were being diagnosed with learning disabilities and he was not sure the money would be spent wisely.
Support for charter schools (which are not private schools, but public schools that receive federal funds but are exempt from many regulations regarding admissions, accountability, and standardized assessments) tended to depend upon the respondent's position on private school funding. Supports of private school vouchers tended to support charter schools as a way of extending more individualized attention to students while supporters of public schools believed that too much emphasis on charter schools, which could only help a small segment of the population, would divert resources away from the public school system.… [Read More]
Public School Funding
With reports on the lower standardized test scores among the nation's students, policy makers are once again turning their attention to the issue of education reform. For many educators, one of the culprits behind this is not only the dearth of money spent on public education. Rather, the available funding is disbursed unequally, benefiting the already more affluent school districts.
This paper examines the inequity that exists in funding public school education.
The first part of this paper looks at examples of this unequal funding throughout the country. The next part of the paper then looks at the various reasons for these disparities, from the government level to the lack of public support.
In the conclusion, this paper argues that there remains a strong need to increase public support for education funding, and to re-work the current formula used by states to determine how school funds are disbursed. After all, whether one is wealthy or poor, it is in everyone's interests to ensure that the succeeding generation of Americans is both skilled and educated.
In 2001, Congress agreed to re-write the long-standing Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This alone was a contentious step, since agreeing to the re-write opened the doors for controversial programs such as the school voucher program. Critics of the law also charge that President Bush is ignoring his campaign promise to provide sufficient funding for all school districts, to ensure that low-income students can catch up to the test scores of their more affluent peers (Swindell 2003).
In a study conducted in 2000, the Educational Trust found that across the nation, school districts that serve a higher concentration of low-income students receive far less state and local funding. This holds true in 30 out of 37 states included in the study, where districts with the fewest concentration of low-income families get at least $100 more per student. Corollary to this, school districts with the fewest minority students also receive an additional $100 per student, compared to schools with higher concentrations of minorities. Nationally, these figures mean that the school districts with the fewest minority students…… [Read More]
Student Body Size on School Costs and Academic Performance in Mississippi High Schools
One of the most heated point of contention within school districts currently is the variable effects of school size, school funding and student performance. There are costs and benefits associated with school size and especially class size and those issues effect school funding, as it is largely accepted that less schools, therefore larger schools equals less cost overall. Yet, the concern in any district is the trade off associated with increasing the size of the student body and therefore almost assuredly increasing the class size and the student to teacher ratio.
The decade of the 1980s saw a massive effort on the part of state governments to reform their educational systems. Although most efforts such as decreasing student-teacher ratios or increasing teacher salaries had little impact on student performance, three variables that are under the control of state education agencies are related to performance - compulsory education laws, school size, and long-term educational funding.
Smith and Meier)
The education system within the United States has been is driven by the economy as tax revenue is the major source of school funding. "To some degree the picture will be affected by the economy of the country. If it takes a serious downturn, school districts will increase class size, eliminate some subject areas, and hire fewer new teachers."
Maloy and Seidman 18) Additionally the education system has been in a constant state of flux, while educators and lawmakers alike attempt to improve upon a system that's image fluxuates almost as much as policy.
Ironically, at a time when job prospects seem to be the most positive they have been in two decades, teaching and teacher education, are under attack. In the 1950s the former Soviet Union's launching of Sputnik created a crisis in confidence in United States schooling. In 1983 the report entitled A Nation at Risk declared a crisis in American schools.…… [Read More]
Private schools also do not have to give students testing like is required in public schools, so children may or may not be getting a better education -- there is no way to compare. Certain rules and regulations in private schools may make it difficult for kids to follow, and therefore they do not do as well in private schools but are more able to express themselves in the environment of a public school. Public schools also by law must be standardized in their provision of programs and services, and private schools are not.
Private and public schools both have their own benefits and problems. I still feel that when you take into account the fact that the price is reasonable, the education more focused and the teacher attention more individual, it is important that whenever possible, children be allowed to attend a private school.
No author listed: What Price Private Education. TimesOnline. Jan 7, 2007. Accessed on the internet at http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2007/01/what_price_a_pr.html
David Boaz and R. Morris Barrett. What Would a School Voucher Buy?
The Real Cost of Private Schools. March, 1996. Accessed online at http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-025.html
Thorp, Victoria & James, Jessie. Private vs. Public Schools: What's the Difference? Great Schools. Accessed on the Internet at http://family.go.com/parenting/ms-learning/article-gs-17869-private-vs.--public-schools--what-s-the-difference -- t/… [Read More]
Arts Education in California public schools have become a permanent feature in advancing their extra curriculum. It seems to benefit majority of the students, as such a subject is helpful in exercising a kids' mind while concentrating on other area. Though the governor of California needs to allocate monies for such programs so that in the upcoming years more students can benefit by participating in these areas.
Arts education is taking a wild turnover, introducing new methods, variety of opportunities in schools and colleges, hence elaborating it into a vast subject.
While we contemplate about its roots, we must extract its importance in our daily lives and the role it plays in a person's daily developments. Most schools offer their students arts, music and theatre as an extracurricular activity, in order to expand and exercise their mental capability. Achieving outstanding grades in subjects, such as Maths, Latin, English, French, History and so on, is what most students aim for in elementary and high school education. Having arts and music as a subject have exceeded the education program level in most public and private schools.
Until the 1900s students were in a dilemma, which school to attend, unless there were parents who were wealthy enough to pay for private schools. Yet some parents were in a disarray, to look for schools in accordance their residence, leaving little choice for children. The school choice movement made an attempt to end this confusion, by allowing the students to select schools of their own choice.
Public School Choice Vs Private School Vouchers: (http://www.aypf.org/forumbriefs/2001/fb060801.htm)
Thus giving these students the freedom of movement, as more and more students choose their schools and their subjects accordingly.
Such a step alerted many schools all over the state to upgrade their budgeting in most subject, specially arts, which requires a…… [Read More]
With 6,153,000 covered under the IDEA, schools are eligible to receive $18.01 billion federal funds. Regrettably, schools are just receiving a paltry $7.5 billon. (National Education Association: IDEA Funding Coalition Offers Proposal -Plan would make funding mandatory)
To look at it in another way schools are at present receiving just approximately 17% rather than the federal commitment of 40% of APPE. Even though that is a considerable amount, schools will make expenditure in excess of $102 billion on those students. Apart from that, there are additional components within IDEA that are financed individually and cater extra purposes. There are many ways by which federal shortfall hurts the school districts. Whereas a lot of interest has been generated to mounting federal expenses meant for special education since previous few years, new federal funding has not kept pace with the mounting costs at the regional levels. Indeed, special education costs meant for local school districts are going considerably faster compared to new federal funding.
Even with the latest rises in federal special education funding since the past few years, the monetary load has risen from 39% of total spending to 45% during the same period. It is important to know how fully funding IDEA assist students would across the country. At present, local districts are finding it hard to pay for the required services under a student's IEP. Fully funding of IDEA will assist to alleviate the burden by supplying the needed dollars the excellence and the spectrum of the services available. More federal dollars will assist in raising pay packets for teachers and associated service personnel, thus allowing districts to improve appointment and preventing of attrition. (National Education Association: IDEA Funding Coalition Offers Proposal -Plan would make funding… [Read More]
6% total attendance) while dropout rates decreased by amazing percentiles (300% decrease from 8 to 1.9%). This is not only in Maryland's schools but in others as well.
III. Outcomes Reported in National Reports
The work entitled "Engendering School Improvement Through Strung Instructional Leadership" a study of the Sale Elementary School and Columbus Municipal School District in Columbus, Mississippi, by author Gregory E. Woods states that "effective schooling research identified schooling practices and characteristics were the focus of "the outcomes of measured practices in the classroom in relation to the achievement of and improvement in leadership in the instructional prices of the teachers. Through District-wide effort the school, with a 51.2% African-American population and 48 percentage of other the 5,840 students enrolled passed a 17 million bond for funding reorganization in the district and through efforts such as the school librarian, Virginia Lindsey, who gained a grant for the school for the purchase of two computers and the Macmillan reading program. That in combination with other reading programs such as STARS (Students readings silently) there was a 72% increase of STA reading scores in the percentage in 1992 and 1993 was witness to the spot of the top 75 percentile range.
It is clear that the school improvement initiatives are showing improvement efforts and outcomes that give validation to the purported 'best practices' in education. "Whole School" improvement or that of "School- and District-Wide implementations inclusive of technological benefits such as email and forum contact of teachers as well as benefits to students are shown effective with positive outcomes. The claims many positive outcomes.
Conversations between teachers "online" via the web and on a National basis reveals the new 'globalization' taking place in education and the need for technological provisions of learning in classrooms as well as the preparation of teachers for instructional practice in the classroom. Ongoing evaluation of goals and programs are stated as integral for continuing success in…… [Read More]
School Voucher System
WHY WAS IT WRITTEN?
Proponents - believe voucher systems increase parent choice regarding school attendance for their children. (AFT, accessed 2002b).
Opponents - voucher systems do not give parents full choice - they are limited by size of tuition and fact that private and parochial schools can choose their students and may not admit the child in question
AFT Position - Supports the right to use private schools; opposes the use of public funds to help pay for it.
Reasons (AFT, accessed 2002b):
That money could go to public schools that are available to all children
That public school is essential to democracy
That public schools are more accountable to taxpayers than private or parochial ones
That private and parochial schools often pick their students in biased ways
That voucher systems do not improve student education
D. What research shows improves educational outcomes (AFT, accessed 2002b)
reducing class size
using best practices to teach
II. WHAT VALUES DOES IT ENDORSE?
A. This bill endorses the idea of parental choice for parents regarding how they raise their children, including the choice of educational setting for them.
B. The bill argues that parents with limited financial means by definition have fewer educational choices, since they can't afford private school tuition.
C. Critics argue that since such bills provide limited amounts of money, such a program doesn't really increase choices for most places.
1. Only $2,000 - will not cover all tuition
2. Can provide $500 for such things as tutoring, but in many places, good tutors charge $35 an hour. That would be only about 14 hours of tutoring, not enough to make much of a difference for most struggling students.
III. WHAT WOULD BE THE IMPACT OF THE BILL IF ADOPTED?
A. Overview. Although in theory, McCain's bill does not come out of educational funds, 1. The reality is that our congressional representatives struggle to provide a balanced budget.
2.When they look at how much money is being spent on education, they will include the voucher program.
3. Money…… [Read More]
Charter Schools and Minorities
An Examination of the Effectiveness of the Charter School Concept to Date
The nation's public schools are struggling to meet the challenges presented by the No Child Left Behind mandates, and charter schools have been suggested as one approach that holds the promise of providing public schools with the tools they need to succeed. According to one authority, "The Charter School concept has the potential to utterly transform public education" (n.p.). Unfortunately, this potential has not been realized to any appreciable degree in many such charter schools to date (Schmerler, 2002). To this end, this paper will provide a review of the relevant and peer-reviewed literature to determine how well charter schools are actually serving and meeting the needs of urban students of color. A comparison of the performance of the charter schools with the performance of public schools in educating students of color will be followed by an examination of the opportunities and barriers that exist to implementing best practices in a given charter school; a summary of the research will be provided in the conclusion.
Review and Discussion
Background and Overview. In sum, a charter school provides a framework in which a group of teachers, parents, or other stakeholders with comparable interests and views about education to organize and operate a school; the authorizing governmental body that grants charters can be a local school district, by the state, or by the national government (Anderson & Wohlstetter, 1994). Since the original charter school legislation was enacted in 1991, there has been a growing amount of interest generated by the possibilities inherent in this network of more autonomous public schools (Anderson & Wohlstetter, 1994). According to Ferraiolo, Hess, Maranto, and Milliman (2004), as of January 2003, there were approximately 2,700 charter schools operating in 36 states and…… [Read More]