Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
If they had a choice ...
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Democrats constantly tell us they are the party of "choice". Of course they seem to almost exclusively define 'choice' in terms of reproductive rights. The choice of schools?

Not so much.

No one that I know of would argue that Oregon is a "conservative" or right-wing dominated state. That's why this survey is so interesting:
When asked “if it were your decision and you could select any type of school, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child,” here’s how Oregonians responded:

* 44 percent selected private schools
* 24 percent selected charter schools
* 14 percent selected home schooling
* 13 percent selected regular public schools
* 5 percent selected virtual schools

The survey demonstrates a wide disconnect between schooling preferences and actual school enrollments. While forty-four percent of Oregon parents said they would like to send their child to a private school, only 7 percent of Oregon’s students attend private schools. Twenty-four percent of Oregon parents said they would like to send their child to a charter school, yet charter schools enroll only about 2 percent of the state’s students. While only thirteen percent of Oregon parents said they would choose a regular public school for their child, more than nine of ten — 91 percent — attend regular public schools. The implication of these results, is that Oregon, like many other states, does not have sufficient school choice systems in place to match parents’ schooling preferences.
The survey points out that most feel the public school system is failing them. As for money, the majority felt that the money being spent per pupil was "about right" or "too high".

But essentially, the biggest message in the survey was this:
Oregonians show potentially high demand for new school models such as charter schools, virtual schools and vouchers. Survey results show 70 percent of voters are favorable to charter schools, 51 percent are favorable to virtual schools, and 63 percent are favorable to vouchers. Twenty-four percent strongly favor charter schools, 13 percent strongly favor virtual schools, and 19 percent strongly favor vouchers. These findings remain consistently high across family income groups.
Or said another way, the present system of education is not meeting the needs or demands of its "customers."

Of course the unfortunate part of this is the "customers" really don't have the say they should have when it comes to education policy. Much of that is driven by the union representing the teachers.

If the Obama administration wants to live up to its promise of 'change', it seems to me a change in attitude among policy makers that focuses on the desires of education's "customers", instead of exclusively on the teachers, might be a great place to start.

As the survey points out:
School choice is not a partisan issue among Oregon residents. The survey results indicate general agreement among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. There is potential in Oregon to put aside party differences and work together on systemic reforms, as there are shared common views on school choice policies. High levels of support exist for school vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, charter schools, and personal-use tax credits and deductions for education expenses.
A perfect "post-partisan" issue, no?

However, given the debt he owes the teacher's union, I don't foresee any worthwhile progress in this direction during his term in office. We'll see. Maybe he'll surprise us. But I doubt that "school choice" is really high on the new administration's education agenda.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
To what extent does the Obama administration have anything to do with how Oregon runs its schools?

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
On average 10% of education funding comes from the fed. And that has increased over time from about 5%. My guess is that will increase significantly within the next few years due to budget deficits at a state level. With that, I anticipate more federal control to be exerted, whether we like it or not.

So, that being the likely scenario, what I’d like to see from the Dept. of Education, if we really have to have it at all, are policy positions which encourage experimentation at the state level to include vouchers and real school choice. A more ’customer’ oriented pro-liberty approach vs. what it has now.

You know, making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
The survey demonstrates a wide disconnect between schooling preferences and actual school enrollments
Actually, it reflects a wide disconnect between real world preferences and the idiocy they reflexively vote for.

They DO have a choice. And they choose against it every time.

They don’t like their schools? Boo fricking hoo. They have what they voted for.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
All which goes to show that "choice" is greatly over-rated...you only need to choose Hope and Change and we’ll do the rest...

To what extent does the Obama administration have anything to do with how Oregon runs its schools?
Don’t know but for the 4-8 years I intend to blame the Obama Administration for EVERYTHING that goes wrong...just to even things out.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
When I write about public schools the first thing I have to do is control my anger.

They are a cancer in American society. They cannot be reformed. All increased funding for them is to throw good money after bad. And they waste the potential of every single child entrusted to them. In one way or another. Some mortally so.

Some parents are too good and too strong, even where they cannot find a way to send them elsewhere, to allow their children to be ruined in public schools. They are a small minority.

But it always becomes a roll of the dice after public schooling when those kids are sent off to an American university, where the Erbs of this world then have at them in a closed-off isolated environment 24/7.

There is sometimes no escape even in the hard sciences, where political indoctrination and forced enlistment is now rife as well.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Obvious GOP campaign platform. Not only good for freedom, it appeals to cultural conservatives. Should be emphasized.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Democrats constantly tell us they are the party of "choice". Of course they seem to almost exclusively define ’choice’ in terms of reproductive rights. The choice of schools?

Not so much.
Name one Democrat that supports a law that says that parents cannot choose to send their child to any school they want. Just one.

Oh yes - you can’t.

That’s because not only is there no such law, but such a law would be unconstitutional. Parents can send their children to any school they want. Or home school them.

It’s not an issue of choice.

What’s really going on here is that the political right wants to be able to use taxpayer dollars to fund religious education. They want to use the power of the state to collect taxes and use that tax money to support their choice of a religious education. In essence, they want to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize religion. Like they do in many European countries.

Let’s say I am Jewish. Let’s say my neighbor - we’ll call him Bob - wants to send his kids to a school that teaches anti-Semitism. And he wants to use my tax dollars to do it. In other words, Bob wants a voucher so he can send his kid to a school that teaches his kids to hate Jews. You’re effectively saying that I don’t get a choice in whether Bob gets to use my tax dollars to teach his kids to hate my religion? I have to pony up the money - or go to jail - just so Bob can have his kids taught that the Nazis were the good guys?

Wow.

The day that the power of the state is used to take money from one citizen to pay for another’s citizen’s choice to indoctrinate his child with certain religious beliefs is the day this country turns into a theocracy.

Free Markets, Free People? Right.
 
Written By: dude08
URL: http://
dude08,

So instead I have to pay tax dollars for public schools to teach your kids that global warming is happening, something that I don’t agree with. Or if I were a Christian they could teach my kid about sex, gay marriage, whatever that they don’t agree in.

Same thing.

Also, the main point of vouchers is to allow competition and improve the schools.

If the price is that some school can be set up that teaches anti-semitism (highly unlikely, though there are those Arabic languages schools in Detroit) then that is part of the price.

I think those schools would be shut very quickly if they tried to openly be anti-semitic.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
the main point of vouchers is to allow competition
How is it competitive if one type of player can pick and choose who it wants to educate while the other player must educate anyone who walks through the door?

I ask that question as someone who supports expanding the financial ability of parents to choose. However, public schools will always be required to teach any child who registers. The same is not true for private schools. Charter schools are also currently allowed to select who attends.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
How is it competitive if one type of player can pick and choose who it wants to educate while the other player must educate anyone who walks through the door?
This is a familiar argument, but not a definitive one.

Any kind of school can be run privately. Schools for special needs kids. Schools for all and any kids. Schools for very bright kids. Schools for discipline problem kids. Etc.

If the public policy goal is education, and the money follows the choice made by the parents, then eventually every kind of educational need could be met privately.

Naturally, the government will continue to interfere and drive costs up for private facilities, but I think that even that can be outsmarted via coordinated learning networks that support a "homeschooling" paradigm that has a great deal of fungibility built into it.

And, of course, the rotten teachers unions, which are political machines that have mastered their position at the public trough and seek to kill anything that threatens that position, are the greatest obstacle to learning and a real threat to the future of the country, not to mention the successful lives of the kids.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
then eventually every kind of educational need could be met privately
In the meantime, while we are waiting for a special school to take care of one of these special needs that "could" be met privately in a local area, there is no actual competition. It is not a legitimate competition if one side gets to pick who it wants while the other must provide services for every need.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider