Vouchers For Everyone!

Guess what the real motives and purposes behind the whole school voucher issue are? I'll give you a hint: it's not really about making better schools. (It seems to me that the real keys to improving schools are

  1. Better pay for teachers (quite frankly, it's rather difficult to make a living as a school teacher. Why do you think so many quit to get real jobs?). Better, more competitive pay means that more people will be interested in becoming teachers, and therefore the quality of the teacher pool will increase.
  2. Smaller class sizes. Smaller classes means more individual attention for the students and allows teachers to experiment with different pedagogic techniques. The best course I took in High School was an American History class with only ten students in it.
  3. Adequate physical infrastructure. There are a lot of schools out there in great shape. There are also a lot of schools out there (particularly in large cities) that are in terrible shape. Quite frankly, schools that are in bad shape -- broken doors, stuff falling out all over the place, etc. -- are not conducive to the learning experience.
  4. More and better arts instruction. This is a personal pet peeve of mine, but when school budgets get cut, the first thing that goes is usually arts instruction. I'm afraid that this is turning America into a country more populated by culturally illiterate baboons than is already the case.
I fail to see how school vouchers, which divert public money to private institutions, will solve these problems. But I'm digressing.)