Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Becker Calls for School Vouchers

OK, sorry about the sensational, blatantly false headline. Mayor Becker did not call for school vouchers. Nor is he likely to lead any effort to that effect because he is a liberal. He did, however, provide a solid argument that is consistent with arguments in favor of school vouchers. Here is what he said in his state of the city speech:

"The world is not going to stop changing because those of us in Racine find it uncomfortable or difficult to continue to adapt to a new world. The key to the future of our city is in doing everything we can to make education at all levels accessible. Whether is it K-12, technical, university, or on-the-job training, the people of Racine need to take advantage of educational opportunities unless they want to be on the bottom of the economic ladder. In addition, we must make our city attractive to others who can bring key skills and creativity to our community."

Becker is right to emphasize the importance of education and he is right again to say that we should make every effort to take advantage of educational opportunities and to make education more accessible.

One way to do exactly that is to allow Racine's families greater access to some of our many fine (and in some cases, financially distressed) private schools. School vouchers would do the trick.

Racine could be at the forefront of educational innovation, attracting educational entrepreneurs, families and future leaders with a one of a kind universal voucher system.

The mayor rightly criticized protectionism in his speech as he implores us to embrace globalization. Does he realize that he, other liberals, and the teachers union is fully engaged in educational protectionism? If he really wants educational improvements, he will have to take on the protectionists and begin to question his own protectionist philosophy.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

How refreshing it would be if RAMAC, SCJ, Twin Disc, Modine, The Mayor, or some other influential party would start a rational discussion of school vouchers. This would do a lot more for the community than a new school super. or KRM.
Why is it that this discussion doesn't happen? Are these parties so in fear of REA? What a shame.

Anonymous said...

The holy panacea for those whom deny social ills in Racine - school vouchers and blame the teachers and RUSD.

Denial of reality is a serious illness. Vouchers are your holy grail.

Right wing malarchy.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 555, you ask some good questions and I have wondered myself why this discussion is not happening. My best guess is that any influential person who begins to contemplate the voucher idea will also realize that there would be massive opposition. The easiest path is to avoid the confrontation and pretend as though another passed referendum will be marginally helpful. My hope is that some day, one of the Johnsons will begin to wonder whether school vouchers might be worth a try. The Johnsons I think could influence the agenda at nearly all of our local groups like RAMAC, DRC, other businesses, the JT editorialists etc... I actually think it could happen here, but it can't happen without the Johnsons and it won't be pretty. But this time it actually would be "for the children."

anon, 6:02, I don't deny the existance of social ills. In fact, I think you are evidence of social ills.

Anonymous said...

Why do so many events in Racine have to originate with or be supported by the "the Johnsons".
How about the other leaders, or just you and me.
Someone on the school board should initiate 100% choice within RUSD. Then after RACINE has made a success of that, it can spread to include non-RUSD schools.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 5:42, I don't spend a lot of time wondering why the Johnson's have tremedous influence. I think they have earned a level of trust and good will over the years. The reality is that they could do much to stimulate genuine education reform with school vouchers. If they did, you can be sure that RAMAC, the JT and many other local institutions would come around or at least be forced to debate the issue somewhat seriously. On serious local issues, most of our leaders are actually lemmings waiting to be told what to think.

Could you or I lead on this issue? I am leading on this issue, to the best of my ability. I doubt someone could lead on this issue while remaining anonymous however.

Dark Ride Films said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There is no issue.

Selective education or public education.

Anonymous said...

I am a social ill?

That is rich.
Spoken like an elitist.

Denis Navratil said...

Ignorance is a social ill anon.

Anonymous said...

And I am ignorance because I disagree with your beliefs?

Anonymous said...

I have concluded, Denis, that your observations are so skewed to the right that they lack believability.

Your 'opinions' are not 'facts'.

Denis Navratil said...

No anon.

Anonymous said...

My God, I taught at a Catholic School. My closest friends are Catholic School teachers and principals. I worked for a year at RUSD Central Office.

I have a bit more perspective than you

Denis Navratil said...

So what have you learned anon that might be of use to anyone reading this blog?

Anonymous said...

...That setting up public schools modeled on the elitist/neocon beliefs of Leo Strauss, Aaron Director, brother-in-law Milton Friedman, Paul Wolfowitz, Alan Bloom, and other University of Chicago - where, by the way, Francis Fukayama got the idea for his 'End Of History' book, is a terrible idea.

I do not like 'public indoctrination centers' for lots of my own reasons, the corporate inculcation centers that they are, originally designed at the University of Chicago to create a compliant workforce, but they are not the reasons you have.

Anonymous said...

A start to useful rearch would be at this 'teacher of the year' winner's website. John Taylor Gatto is an education historian as well. He talks the talk and walked the walk.

http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/

Anonymous said...

One benefit of the voucher plan is that voucher schools, unlike RUSD, would have the will and the ability to throw out discipline problems that detract from the education of the students who want to be there.

If RUSD did that, and sent them all to someplace like the Mack Center, instead of shuffling them between schools, then our schools would be a whole lot better than they are.

Denis Navratil said...

anon 6:51, is RUSD a public indoctrination center?

Flores Online said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Discriminator said...

Nothing can be done that will do much good when it comes to public education until the roots of the problems are dealth with. Decent parent would not send their young children to ANY school anyhow. Decent parents do not trust strangers that are often perverts to care for their children 5 days a week. Sending negroids, mulatoo's and metizo's to better White majority schools at taxpayers cost is just a way to ruin better schools and further racially pollute White areas.. The teachers or buildings or books are not the main problem in slum schools. The STUDENTS are! BTW in case you did not know - Racine is mainly a hell hole slum infested with anthropoids.