Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

If the Schooling Is Good, Do We Care Where It Is?

February 03, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I agree with Doug Tuthill’s sentiments in his Commentary “Rethinking the Notion of Public vs. Private” (Jan. 21, 2009). Why do we care where a child is educated so long as that child is getting a good education in a civic-minded environment chosen by his or her parents? If a school meets these three criteria, then it is good for our country and worthy of public funds.

I first heard of vouchers in 1999 in Milwaukee, where I was an intern for the Institute for the Transformation of Learning and worked with Howard Fuller, its founder and a former Milwaukee superintendent. At that time, I was surprised to find some resistance in progressive circles to what the institute was trying to do: provide economically disadvantaged families the same options families of greater means already have.

Expanded parental choice surely allows some children to escape a struggling school and move to a more successful one. I accept that certain schools may not prove to be up to par and thus not worthy of public vouchers, and that more research needs to be done to evaluate the impact of school choice via vouchers on student performance. These issues, however, do not undermine the fact that there still is great potential for immediate improvements in education for many students through responsible use of vouchers.

For the record, I also support directing more resources toward public school education to raise teacher salaries, improve teacher training and support, and increase public school funding per student for other necessities. I find these goals to be perfectly compatible with my support of vouchers. We can both expand the portion of the pie we spend on education and offer impoverished families more high-quality schools options to choose from.

Matthew Snyder

Brooklyn, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the February 04, 2009 edition of Education Week as If the Schooling Is Good, Do We Care Where It Is?

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP