November 27, 1991 |
A divided state Senate has approved the nation's broadest school "choice" bill and sent it to the House and an uncertain future. The measure would give state vouchers of as much as $900 to parents choosing to send a child to a school, public or private, other than the public school they'd normally attend. While other states have some form of "school choice," none is as generous as the Pennsylvania proposal. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Frank Salvatore, R-Philadelphia, passed yesterday, 28-22, after a day and a night of sometimes bitter debate.
September 25, 2013 |
It was AP English, not government, but House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was familiar with the topic of instruction Monday morning in the writing center at Freire Charter School. "We're studying point of view," a student told the congressional visitor, and Cantor chuckled. Through the window of the third-floor classroom, Cantor and the students could hear about a dozen protesters outside chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Eric Cantor's got to go. " "You look out the window," Cantor told the class.
June 21, 1995 |
A glance at some recent newspaper stories and editorials on school choice would lead one to believe the school choice movement is a Catholic conspiracy being engineered by a sinister group of red-robed figures who take their orders from the Vatican. Some in the local media apparently believe the school choice movement is some sort of papal plot to take over education in Pennsylvania. As a Protestant Philadelphian, I feel it is important to address the notion that the push for school choice is primarily a Catholic movement.
May 21, 2010 |
Few organizations are as consistently liberal as the Anti-Defamation League, especially when it comes to matters of church and state. The ADL devotes an entire page on its website ( www.adl.org ) to church-state separation, and it wants the "wall" between the two to remain as high and impenetrable as possible, believing that to lower it would have a negative effect on both. Which makes it remarkable that the executive committee of the ADL's Philadelphia chapter has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution endorsing vouchers that would allow children in underperforming schools in poor neighborhoods to escape to schools that would give them a safer environment to learn in and, thus, a better education.
July 22, 1992 |
The educational choice movement is gaining ground. Yesterday, President Bush was in Philadelphia at the Archbishop Ryan High School promoting the provision of $1,000 vouchers to low- and moderate-income parents. The administration's endorsement comes in the wake of state efforts. California's Choice in Education League has announced that it has enough signatures to put a state school voucher referendum on the ballot. In March, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the right of poor Milwaukee parents to choose private schools paid for with tax dollars.
May 13, 1999 |
Just recently, the Philadelphia Compact commissioned a poll on where Philadelphians stand on school choice and vouchers. The results were not significantly different from prior studies. In past results, offered by Temple University, Millersville State University, state Rep. Dwight Evans and the Commonwealth Foundation, the polls showed that from 60 percent to 75 percent of African- Americans and Hispanics support vouchers, particularly poor urban residents. Not until the Gallup National Poll in 1998 showed that a majority of white Americans support school choice did the issue start to get serious attention in certain professional communities.
July 14, 2005 |
The United States education system is governed by the political process. Public elections and lobbying work to establish where schools will be built, what will be taught, and which teachers will be hired. As a result, our elementary and secondary education system contains all the inefficiency and stagnation symptomatic of government bureaucracies. Low quality, high costs, a lack of innovation, and perverse incentive structures plague our education system. Thousands of reforms and billions of dollars worth of tinkering with the system have failed to improve the lot of students.
April 29, 1991 |
It is about time we address head-on the root cause for our social problems such as poverty, crime, drugs, etc. More money for welfare, prisons, condoms, and treatment might temporarily help those who suffer but it won't make a dent in solving the basic problems. Only education will. Then there is unemployment, partly brought on by foreign competition. If our work force were better educated, our country would be more competitive. Just like we used to be. But education is ineffective in this country.
June 2, 1999 |
Only a few weeks remain before our lawmakers in Harrisburg adjourn for the summer. A very critical issue remains on their calendar, and each moment that a decision is delayed, the future of another child and another family is threatened. I urge everyone in our community to ask their legislators to consider and support the education reform plan now before them.For many of us, the school choice initiative proposed by Gov. Ridge offers hope for struggling school districts and a more promising future for our children and families.
March 14, 2000 |
Last week, I spent two days at Harvard listening to education policy experts debate tuition vouchers, only to decide that no one there caught the essence of the issue as neatly as Mayor Street's spokesperson Barbara Grant a few days before I went. Explaining why it didn't matter that four of the mayor's appointees to the school board had sent some or all of their children to private school, Grant said, "You can't blame any parent trying to make the best choice for their child. " Indeed, you can't.