A common argument against school vouchers is the notion that private schools will skim the best and brightest from the public schools, and that this will contribute to further deterioration of the public schools.
Implicit in this argument is the notion that bright and or well motivated students have an obligation to the school system itself and to poorly motivated or even disruptive students. The idea I suppose is that some type of transfer is supposed to occur wherein good students elevate the performance of lousy students.
I have no doubt that people influence those around them. But what tends to be ommitted from the anti-voucher argument is that influences work both ways. Yes, the A student might positively impact the class clown or the chronic truant. But if that is true, it is also be true that the clowns, truants, and gang bangers may negatively impact the A students. This negative impact I suspect is the reason many parents of means send their children to private schools.
So good students really are pawns. There job is to suffer academically at the hands of kids who disrupt the education process. It is easy to see why public schools need to hang on to these kids. What is not so easy to see is what is in it for the bright and motivated students.