From a Rep.

posted May 13, 2012, 1:35 PM by Bill Duncan   [ updated May 14, 2012, 4:03 AM ]
From the Legislator

As we have corresponded before, maybe the public schools will have to be more responsive to their customers, the parents.  A concept that doesn't fit in the "one size fits all" seen in some schools.

Response

Thanks for your note.  I have enjoyed our back and forth on these issues.

I know there's a hope that competition will improve the schools but, so far, that has not turned out to be the case.  Competition already exists, of course, but even the studies cited by Friedman and the sponsors of our bill in New Hampshire do not actually show that there is any identifiable improvement in the public schools attributable to competition.

In Florida, for instance, they have an A-F grading system and just giving a school an F seems to have more impact on getting it moving than does the competition from vouchers.  Here's a post I put together on this issue.

And on "one size fits all": our schools are already open to adjusting to the child's needs.  And I would propose that the public expense of responding to this desire with a whole publicly-funded private school alternative is not justified.

Glad to hear from you.  

From the Legislator in Response

I am glad you have agreed that there is a need for change in the Public School System.  It is encouraging to know that we can agree on that.

The purpose of this legislation is so people who have less resources or are unable to home school to have a choice.  I am not sure if it will be the solution, however it is a start.

The one thing that I have learned in Concord is that everything is up for review or revision.  I will be supporting this legislation, however I am going to ask the sponsors to outline its success in the future.

Response

Absolutely, y.  We need to do big things to improve our public school systems in the nation.  My objection to voucher programs like this one is that it says, in essence, "We need to give up on the public schools and move to a private, market-based system."  That's the part I don't buy.
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