Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Pro-Choice Hypocrites

This is a report I read entitled Recess from Reality: The Feminist Failure to Embrace School Choice by Carrie L. Lukas on the subject of school choice, particularly in regards to the voucher programs that are currently under fire in several states, including Washington D.C. In it the writer gives some scenarios that give you a glimpse of the thinking involved with those who oppose vouchers as well as citing some very good and strong evidence that suggests that having a choice in regards to education can be and usually is, a good thing for all, especially women. It is her argument that rather than opposing these education policies, women's groups such as NOW, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) ought to begin supporting school choice, not just vouchers, but all educational options in that parents and particularly women, young and old, will be better served by them.

It is amazing to witness such hypocrisy among the so called proponents of "Choice", where you have such feminine organizations who tout the mantra of freedom of choice for women when speaking of killing their babies in the womb, yet when it comes to educating the children, who some how managed to be deemed worthy enough to live by their moms, their silence is as deafening as their logically flawed protest.

The basic fundamentals behind the voucher program is choice. Giving the parents, and subsequently the students, more choice in who educates them and ultimately how they are to be educated. For anyone who may not be familiar with the voucher issues, this is a good report to get up to speed on what they do for families as well as to find out what the detractors are saying. Ms. Lukas also goes into some details about the common myths that are put out there regarding school vouchers and provides strong arguments and evidence to prove them false. One in particular is the notion that public schools will somehow suffer if monies are redirected to the voucher programs and their students leave. A good point she makes in addressing this myth is that through the simple principles of capitalism, although she doesn't come right out and say it, these public schools can and most likely will implement policies to improve in order to maintain their students and to compete with other schools, and therefore will actually become better at educating our children. So, through free enterprise we find that there can actually be opportunities to better the overall educational system across the board. Yet opponents to school choice fail to recognize this very basic and logical notion and continue to spout that the public schools just need more money and smaller classrooms and better teacher training, blah blah blah, ad nauseum. Ofcourse, vouchers and other school choice options, will actually allow public schools to do just that! Amazing!

As I said, hypocrisy. Obviously, as I stated before, the so called notion of choice in reference to women's rights is not about choice at all but about egocentrism. This is a case in point. Here is a perfect opportunity for these champions of women's rights to demonstrate and reinforce "Choice" in the prevailing culture, yet, they drop the ball and oppose choice. You have to ask, why? Something to think about.


Anonymous said...

Hi Jerry,

How are you? I really hate that I'm so busy these days. I don't have time to visit my friends as often as I like. I just wanted you to know that I know you're still here. Keep blogging, kindred spirit!

---La Shawn

Ellbur said...

The key problems with allowing 'school choice' are not so much the impact on the indiniduals who opt to use the system, but on those who are unable.

There are many people who are simply unable to accomadate to their life a change in school. This usually corellates with poverty, and so will impact negatively on those most in need of education.

It would be harmless if not for the inadequate funding that many schools have. Those students unable to change to a better school will find the conditions of the one they attend affected negatively; through improper funding, and a lack of government initiative to provide assistence to the failing school.

Fourtunately (or unfourtunately, depending on your point of view), the school system does not obey the laws of capitalism. It is, as it always has been, a government-run, government-funded program. It requires money from a central resource (the government) to undertake any action.

Jerry McClellan said...

I must disagree with you Ellbur once again, I think that the ability to choose will help those most in need of good education and those who care most about education, especially the poor since money would be supplied to them in the form of vouchers, which will allow them to afford better schools for their children.

So far as the inadequate funding myth, please point out where and what schools have problems with funding? I've read where the government spends over 7k per child per year in many states, rich or poor, and some times more. The real problem is irresponsibility with the funds by the teachers and administrators. We have to face the truth, public education is a cash cow for many, including teachers unions and school board officials. That is why there appears to be a lack of funding in many schools, particularly inner city schools, the money is not getting where it needs to be.

Opening education up to private interests and allowing for real choice by parents will help to alleviate such issues.

On your last point I also disagree with you based purely on my own reasoning, in that, education was not always a government run system in this country as well as in general, I refuse to believe such an awful thing. When I find evidence to support my view I will present it. Also, in order for any given school to change, government funds are not required, what is required is responsibility, accountability and innnovation from the parents, teachers and administration. I personally know of one women here in Pacoima, Ca. that bought a public school, converted to a private school, and literally turned it into one of the top schools in the state. All she did was have a good idea and the drive to carry it out. She raised the money on her own through her business and from private donations from the very community that the school serves. Keep in mind that Pacoima is not a very ritsy or affluent city, but is mostly middle to lower income, especially in the neighborhood the school resides in. She raised over $2.5million to do this. She even built an expansion campus across the street, complete with a new library to boot! The school boasts a complete state of the art computer lab, gym, biology lab and renovated playground.

Keep in mind that this is not a tuition based school either, as many of the students who attend are from poor working families!

All that is needed is the willingness to do what is right. Period.