Comments about ‘Michael Gerson: The connection between ZIP code and education is being broken’

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Published: Wednesday, April 3 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

You can argue all you want about whether “choice” is better for students NOW. What is not being discussed is what it will do to private schools long term.

The first thing that will happen is that private schools who refuse to take the voucher, because they don’t want the government mandates that absolutely will come, will go out of business, just as private colleges did that refused to take Pell grants (the college voucher). They can’t compete financially with those who do. They will either have to take them or go out of business.

When the government hook is good and set (all privates either taking the money or folded), THEN all the mandates and restrictions that are messing up the public schools will come.

And then the only difference between private schools and public schools will be the ownership of the building. That’s what happened in every country who have implemented voucher plans, Sweden and the Netherlands particularly. And then there really will be NO CHOICE, because every choice will be the same!

Can’t we see that vouchers are a Trojan Horse for private schools and choice?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

In the case of most of the commodities we buy the profit motive works to give us the best product for the lowest price because of the competition between the suppliers. Plus if we are dissatisfied with the product we can take it back. Like with the food we get that is less than good, our illness is probably temporary.

Education doesn’t work that way, the product can’t be returned easily and is often tainted by the for-profit goals of the sponsor. The most glaring example might be the religious schools. In the end, it all comes back to money. Private schools are business operations expected to enhance the profits of the sponsor and use education in the normal subjects as a come-on. Since their main goal is current profits they will not necessarily care if the student succeeds or fails in later adulthood. That last sentence probably doesn’t apply to religious schools.

Given the choice, I would prefer a liberal school over a conservative school.

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