Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Two big issues about Vouchers

There are two things I keep hearing as to why I should vote for Referendum 1.
The first issue is that people claim that private schools don't have accountability. The anti-voucher group says that private schools teachers don't have to be certified. Yep, that's the way it works when you aren't beholden to a union. The problem with this thinking, is that a private school teacher who is not measuring up and getting several complaints from parents isn't going to be a private school teacher very long. Now let's look at the way things work in the public school system. If I don't like what a teacher is saying to my children, I complain to the principal who may or may not take any action. That principal also doesn't have to let me know what action, if any they took. If my kids go to a private school, I tell the administration that if things don't change I move my kids elsewhere and that hits them in the pocket book. That sounds like the private school has more accountability than a public school.
The second issue that gets brought up is public money to private schools. Public money goes to private schools all the time. At the present time public money doesn't go to private K-12 schools, but, private universities get public money all the time. Do people forget where "public money" comes from? It comes from tax payers. So maybe it would make people feel better if, instead of vouchers, we call it a rebate?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What are voucher opponents really afraid of?

When I was a small child, I was afraid of many things. I was afraid of the monster under my bed. I was afraid of the scary images in my closet. As I got older and wiser, I realized that there really wasn't a monster under my bed and that the scary images in my closet were really just my clothes hanging in different ways.
So this brings me to my big question of the day. What are school voucher opponents really afraid of? They can't be afraid of losing money, because as LaVarr Webb pointed out in his column on Sunday, public schools would have more money per student than they do today. In his column he mentions that the "legislative fiscal analyst estimates that the voucher program could pay out $429 million over 13 years if all qualified voucher students use the program. But it would mean we would not have to spend $1.8 billion for those students in the public school system." Now I'm not a math major, but I learned early on in my public school life that 429,000,000 is a smaller number than 1,800,000,000. So why can't voucher opponents do such simple math?
Come on voucher opponents, what are you afraid of? Does the thing you are afraid of make as much sense as being afraid of the monster under my bed, or are they just in your imagination, like the scary images in my closet?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Competition is bad?

Since when is competition a bad thing? It seems that everybody clamors for competition in all areas except for the education sector. What would happen if the Utah government said that the only hamburger joint in Utah would be Burger King? The citizens wouldn't tolerate it. Yet, when the state government tries to tell parents that they can spend their tax dollars for education where they choose, people freak out.
I personally think that competition can help the public school system improve. Right now, our public school system has major flaws and has little or no incentive to improve. Now what if they have to compete against private schools? Does anybody really think that public schools won't improve because of this?
Note, I will delete comments posted to this post that I deem as offensive. Use facts, not attacks. If you want to state your opinion, use your own blog to do that.

Utah Open Source Conference

Today I am attending the Utah Open Source Conference at the Open Source Technology Center in Provo. They have quite a few sessions scheduled. It should be a good day of learning.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Win $10,000.00!

This past weekend I was informed of a very interesting contest going on right now. If you enjoy geocaching and fine art, this is a great contest. I'm still not sure of all the details, but, it looks intriguing to me. The contest home page is at http://www.gpsymothart.com.