The issue of introducing the voucher system in the sphere of public education of the United States has been attracting the attention of researchers since the early 1990s by its controversy. Authors like Chubb and Moe (1990), Paul (2009), Pusey (2009), Stanley (2009), Thomas (2009), etc. consider in their works all the pros and cons of the voucher system in an attempt to bring out the arguments and measures that could be taken to promote school vouchers programs in states so that voters support them. The arguments presented to outline the measures that can be taken to promote school vouchers programs and make voters support them in different states.
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Foremost, school vouchers programs increase the competition between the public and private schools. Competition is the necessary condition of any development and quality improvement (Pusey 2009). In respect of this, the idea of the free market economy at schools that are currently dominated by bureaucracy should also be considered (Chubb and Moe 1990). Needless to say, a certain share of governmental control and funding should be preserved to ensure equal opportunities for both private and public schools. For example, in Florida, Jeb Bush implemented the voucher program for A+ students overcoming the Florida State Supreme Court Decision about the unconstitutionality of the decision. As a result, the conditions offered by the public schools improved because the students had a choice between them and private schools (Stanley 2009).
In the light of the emerged competition, both private and public schools should be placed in the same conditions and should conform to the same requirements. Thus, the funding of the public schools is carried out by the government, and the voucher programs in private schools are also funded by the state (Feinberg and Lips 2006). Moreover, the equal accountability demands established for both private and public schools put them in equal conditions – private schools are thus accountable for their admissions of the students using the voucher program, which helps prevent bureaucracy and discrimination. For example, in Ohio, the 2005 Ed Choice Program provided students with academic performance improvement opportunities and their parents with the wider choice of schools of the equal level (Thomas 2005).
Further on, the issues of poor and low-income families should be considered in the educational context. The voucher programs present the students from low-income families with a wider range of educational opportunities (Feinberg and Lips 2006). Thus, in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee school voucher program, after the US Supreme Court decision, provided the poor students with the chance of improving their academic performance in private schools (Lambro 2000).
Finally, the most important benefit the school voucher programs can bring is their effect on students’ academic performance. According to Murray (2008), the competition introduced by the school voucher programs is rather beneficial as studies show that voucher students improve their results in class: “A sizable majority of these studies report beneficial effects of competition across all outcomes” (Murray 2008). California introduced five bills for parental choice in 2008 that provide for the development of educational competition as the main instrument of improving the educational system efficiency (Murray 2008).
To conclude, I have considered the arguments presented by Chubb and Moe (1990), Paul (2009), Pusey (2009), Stanely (2009), Thomas (2009), etc. and proved that they demonstrate the obvious benefits that the educational system might receive from school vouchers programs. The arguments presented are strong enough for voters to support them.
Chubb, John and Moe, Terry. 1990. Politics, Markets and America’s Schools, Washington DC: Brookings Institution.
Feinberg and Lips. 2006. “School Choice: 2006 Progress Report”. The Heritage Foundation. Web.
Forster, G. 2007. Monopoly versus Markets: The Empirical Evidence on Private Schools and School Choice, Indianapolis, IN: Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.
Hill, Paul T. 2005. “Doing school choice right.” American Journal of Education 111.2: 141(10). Academic OneFile. Gale. Florida International University. Web.
Lambro, D. 2000. “The Government Should Offer School Tuition Vouchers.” Opposing Viewpoints: Education. Ed. Mary E. Williams. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Florida International University. Web.
Moe, Terry. 2001. Schools, Vouchers and the American public. Washington DC: Brookings Institution.
Murray, Vicki. 2008. “California Leads the Nation in School Choice Bills”. 2008 The Sacramento Union: News State Capitol. Web.
Pusey. 2009. “Will School Vouchers Improve Public Education? Yes: New studies show all students’ scores rise”. Journal-Constitution. Web.
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Stanley. 2009. “School Vouchers: Analysis of the Controversy”. Web.
Thomas, C. 2005 “Private School Vouchers Promote Civil Rights.” At Issue: Religion and Education. Ed. Tom Head. San Diego: Greenhaven Press. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Florida International University. Web.