Synthesis of public school system and competitive vouchers
In education, the polarizing debate is about vouchers versus public schools. It’s about “teaching to the test” versus “teaching that nourishes hearts and souls.” It’s about squeezing history and music and philosophy out of the curricula in order to make room for math and science and reading in the quest for test scores and future funding.
Let me tackle just one dimension of the debate: The private versus public school debate–free access for all versus a free-market voucher-driven system. The thesis on the table is: Keep the system the way it is–a vast system of public schools, some with strong performance, but many that are able to achieve only the lowest common denominator. The antithesis: Let competition reign, give all students vouchers, and let the strongest schools prosper–and the weakest ones perish.
Perhaps the synthesis would be far more than just a compromise–it allows us to build on the best of what we have, but instills new responsibility and accountability to the system as well.