Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Schools

Leaving aside all other issues with vouchers and school testing, I think Matt and Kevin are both missing something. People don't just send their kids to private/parochial schools so that they get an education sorta like the public schools only better, they frequently send them there because they're getting an entirely different education. Sure, it's fair to imagine that accountability measures work in early primary school - basic math/reading skills - but after that all bets are off. Religious schools aren't necessarily just about learning what you learn in public school plus a bit of prayer and bible study, and some non-traditional but secular or secularish private schools aren't about "like them only better" either. They're about teaching different things in different ways.

I believe (though I am not certain) that PA has fairly rigorous across the board curriculum standards, but nonetheless the kids I knew who went to some of the creepier Christian schools were certainly getting a rather different version of reality than one generally gets in public school.

We can chat about how accountability and vouchers can be combined, but the people most fervently behind vouchers, except for Milton Friedman, are not going to allow for that.