Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Monday, August 29, 2011

Could It Be because The Parents Know Their Children Will Get a Better Education

The Indiana Business Journal is reporting a huge exodus of students from public schools after the start of a new school voucher program in the state.(Vouchers prompt thousands to change schools) The South Bend School District Interim Superintendent Carole Schmidt has instructed principals to contact parents of students who are leaving to find out why? I suspect that they won't like the answer, to get a better education for their children because of the poor quality of the education offered in the public schools. In fact, I am willing to bet that will be the overwhelming reason.
The Baxters mentioned in the story, said they are pleased with their 16 year old son's education in the public schools. But they think the private school, Marian HS in Mishawaka, is a better fit for their 14 year old daughter. "Better fit" is an interesting phrase. It seems to imply that the public schools aren't offering the daughter what she most needs.
OK, every school can't offer everything to everyone. Some will be better than others in some areas. & in those cases it isn't the faulty of the public school.
On the other hand, I still go back to what I already said, the huge majority of the exodus will be made up of those wanting their children to get out of poor performing schools. But rather than face up to what they are doing wrong, it seems the schools are more upset about the loss of money. True, but if I was a tax payer in Indiana, I would be happy my good money is no longer going after bad. Maybe they better look at how the money is being spent, & be willing to stand up to the teachers unions if they defend poor teachers that should be gotten rid of.
In fact, it is clear from the way Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, talked about it, there is also a bit of not so subtle anti-Catholicism/anti-Christian in what he said. He said "The bottom line from our perspective is, when you cut through all the chaff, nobody can deny that public money is going to be taken from public schools, and they're going to end up in private, mostly religious schools." Now why did he feel it necessary to point out most of the private schools are religious?
Maybe it is because some of the opponants are using exactly that tact, the false premise of seperation of church & state. John West, who is an attorney for a group suing to stop the Indiana program, pointed out at a hearing on the issue that only 6 of the 240 private schools that have signed up for the voucher program are secular. So what? The law simply specifies that the school sign up. It is neutral toward the "free expression" of religion, or lack thereof, at the private schools.
The actual reason that the numbers are currently slanted toward Catholic Schools (70%) is simple. John Elcesser, executive director of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association,has the answer. He said that it's not surprising that Catholic schools are receiving so many of the vouchers, even though they make up fewer than half of the 415 schools in the group. Most Catholic schools already had state accreditation, which some private schools lack.
That brings me to another question, why isn't state accredidation of Catholic Schools a violation of the "seperation of church & state"? isn't that just as much giving state approbation as giving money is?
The reality is simple. Parents want their children to get the best education available. & if the public schools are failing the students should be able to go elsewhere. If the public schools offered a quality education they wouldn't be afraid of a little competition, Catholic or otherwise. They would be able to stand on their own.


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