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Arguing Around the Water Cooler
The public school system of education experiences some sort of controversy year after year in the United States, and one of the most talked about issues that continues to reappear over time is the question of school choice through voucher programs and charter schools. “As reports of violence and [a] lack of appreciable rise in achievement scores” materialize in America’s public schools, parents are looking “for options [other than] sending their children to the local public school” (Huskey). While supporters of school choice claim that the alternate schools offer a higher-quality education for underprivileged students, research is consistently demonstrating that this is simply not the case. For individuals who obtain vouchers that help pay for private school tuition costs, studies show that they “are performing no better than their public school counterparts” (“School for Scandal” 17). Additionally, students who chose to go to a charter school were found by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) to show “mildly negative effects of charter schools relative to traditional public schools” (Kesman, Loeb, and Valant 141+). Even though the promises of these other options in institutions of learning are great, statistically they do show any positive changes in student outcomes, and instead of supporting vouchers and charter schools with public monies, perhaps more funding should go towards public magnet schools which do illustrate their ability to be less segregated, offer higher performance results, and truly present a higher-quality education for all who attend.
While the issue of school choice, theoretically, should be a simple one, there are several elements that make it complicated and contentious. Obviously, most parents want their children to receive the best education possible and by offering them choices in schools, it is natural...