Letter: Education is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor

Editor:

I was surprised how strongly worded the editorial about the state approving limited vouchers. You would have thought a sacred cow had been shot. Let me state at the outset that there is and always will be a need for public schools. They have been a blessing and helped build this nation and its greatness. But since when does one size fit all? To mandate all students must remain in the public-government system is a reminder of the old Soviet government model.

There is an underlining assumption in the anti-voucher camp that is, parents are too stupid to decide what is the best way to educate their children, and that they should not have the freedom of choice. What an elitist attitude! As an amateur historian I came across an interesting statistic. During the late 1800’s, our educational system, consisted of what we now call the one-room schoolhouse. During this time the literacy was the highest the nation has ever experience. Some studies estimate the literacy rate to have been as high as 98 percent. In our modern system of education the literacy rate seldom approaches 70 percent.

Where did the accountability lie in the great success story of the one-room school? It was solely with the parents and the parents only. There was no token acknowledgment to the parents after government got its reports. Parents then didn’t simply “bring the punch and the cookies.” It was a direct unbroken line of accountability from the school to the parents. Parents made all of the decisions. As government began to take more control, without realizing it, parents began to abdicate their rights of accountability to the government.

The return of parental choice is a step in the right direction. Trust in the common man was what distinguished America from the ruling houses of the kings of Europe. The Arizona legislature has taken a big step forward in improving the education of all students, especially those who are under-served by returning freedom of choice to parents, even if it is a limited approach.

Vicki Jo Anderson

Cottonwood

Comments

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centurion75 1 week, 2 days ago

Please spare me the anti-communist rhetoric. Arizona already has more school choice than any other state. Arizona has open district boundaries. That means a parent can take their child to any public school they wish. Additionally, we have more charter schools for our population than any other state (at least we used to). The problem, which you carefully avoid, is that funds will be placed into the budgets of private and parochial schools…where it will be hidden. That’s right, their books are closed. They will be free to do whatever they want with no accountability (although I’m sure there will be nice glossy brochures boasting of myriad successes). Vouchers will drain off badly needed state funding for AZ schools that now enjoy nearly last place in funding. It also invites abuse since they will avoid state auditing. These private schools will also continue to block students with entrance exams and point special education student to the door. Just like some charter schools around here. Ahem.

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The_Uppity_Peasant 1 week, 2 days ago

"As government began to take more control, without realizing it, parents began to abdicate their rights" Hell Yeah! Education IS a sacred cow, and it needs to be shot and put out of its misery. Sacred cows are good eatin', but if you wait until they are old and decrepit they don't taste as good. We need radical education reform, not half-measures, and while I strongly oppose public dollars going to religious organizations, if a poor kid can get a top-notch education at a religious school, more power to the them.

But Diane Douglas talking about kids being God's little gifts, gimme a freaking break! What does this have to do with education?!? Children belong to their parents NOT TO THE STATE. When our SOE talks about evolution and science and real training for real careers, and I am not talking about perpetuating the capitalist fraud upon our youth. Brainwashing youth into automatons who all pretty much think alike and can only take orders is not education! I'm talking about training them to be OWNERS of their OWN businesses, businesses that do not feel the need to rape, pillage, and exploit the planet and its peoples.

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