Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Case Against Vouchers: More Statism

Jay should be happy that I'm doing his homework for him.

The contributor of this essay (Letter from a teacher #17:  scroll to find it; their URL system sucks), argues that vouchers are really just another Big Gummint game.  'Soft Statism', if you like.

Conservatives oppose big government. Most conservatives would agree with that statement without reservation. Perhaps they shouldn't, for many conservatives seem willing to embrace the stultifying power of government when it comes to educational issues such as mandatory, high-stakes tests or vouchers, among others.

"But these are truly important issues," they say. "We have to do it for the children," they say. Does that sound familiar? Aren't those statements exactly what leftists say to justify the unjustifiable?

Indiana has embraced the most ambitious voucher program in American history, and conservatives around the nation are enthusiastically applauding. They shouldn't. In many ways, they don't realize that they are supporting big government at its worst.

A good article at Cato.org (here) deals with a real problem that always crops up whenever government is involved in anything: Red tape and regulations that inevitably "fundamentally transform" what works into what doesn't. Go here to see a brief but disturbing summary of the rules and unfunded mandates being imposed on any Indiana private school accepting voucher money. Ronald Reagan was right. The most horrifying words in the English language are truly: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." By all means, read these brief articles and then return; I'll wait. Oh yes, and as you read, remember that Gov. Mitch Daniels is a Republican, ostensibly a conservative.

There is a Milwaukee-area private school (non-denominational) which will NEVER, under any circumstances, accept vouchers.  That was the word I got when the TT initiative was just getting off the ground, politically.  And what Cato (and the essayist) mention are precisely the reasons that school will not get involved in the voucher system.

While it is true that MPS and a few other Wisconsin systems are just awful, it is ALSO true that the real enemies of "educating chilluns" are not the administrators, nor the teachers:  the enemies are derelict parents--or more accurately, criminally delinquent parents.  (It is also true that the administration, the State bureaucracy, and the teachers have been un-helpful in many regards and sometimes downright inimical to any sort of progress.)

However, those parents are products of Leftist/Planned Parenthood doctrines, specifically free love/free sex which Moynihan warned about, strenuously and to no avail.  The essayist quotes the right apocryphal dictum: 

"One father is worth a hundred schoolmasters."

That, my friends, is what we call "Root-Cause Analysis."  

Meantime, Statism marches on in Wisconsin.  Is that really a "credit" in Tommy Thompson's legacy?

1 comment:

neomom said...

The administration and controls foisted upon the private schools are there because of the lobbying of those that want to keep the government school monopoly.

The school we attended in Meno Falls refused to be a choice school because they didn't want gov't mandates. The school we attend here in the south is pushing for tax credits, not vouchers her in NC for the same reason.

That said, the vouchers were a good first step. We just need to be vigilent