Saturday, May 28, 2011

Will Vouchers Really Help?

We have all heard about using vouchers for students and their parents to choose what school to attend.  But will they work?  I argue that they won't.  Failing schools is just a term that people throw around that compares standardized test scores from one school to another.  Is it a surprise that schools with the highest scores tend to be in areas where the socio-economic-status is higher.  No!! It is a well known fact that those people with higher degrees of education make more money and therefore live in a nicer neighborhood which most of the time makes the school perform better.  So let's take the students that are economically poor and put them in a school where it has been typically attended by middle to upper class students.  Now what will happen? Will the change in school bring about higher test scores to these students?  Absolutely not! We are forgetting that student success is fostered in two ways:  1) The student takes control of their life and decides that they are going to make the most of their education. and 2) The parents are a support system for the child, they value education and encourage the child to succeed. Look what happened in the movie "The Blind Side." Did the simple fact of putting the student in a different school change anything? No! The change occurred when Michael Oher gained the support of a family.  So go ahead and voucher away...It won't change the outcomes of student test scores.