I am still shaking my head in disbelief at Judge Hobgood’s ruling that school vouchers are “unconstitutional.” It was more disheartening and appalling to see photos and footage of lefty activists jumping up and down, hugging, and crying tears of joy in reaction to the ruling. I guess they were overjoyed about how well their judge-shopping worked out. *Screw all of those parents seeking something better for their kids.*
Let’s look first at the claim that vouchers are “unconstitutional.” HERE is what the North Carolina constitution says about education:
Sec. 15. Education.
The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.
A right to a privilege? Holy ‘1984’, Batman! Did Mr. Orwell help write this section of our state’s constitution?
Vouchers still allow the state to fund and “maintain” education. They simply throw in the dynamic of allowing families the final say in where that education will take place. It seems to me that the state — with the voucher program in place — is behaving constitutionally.
I got really bored this weekend and tuned into the weekly broadcast of NC Spin. (It was raining outside.) I got the chance to hear Blinkin’ Chris Fitzsimon, Grandpa Tom, and libertarian-turned-statist publicity hound Bob Orr moan about how wrong it is for government money to go into private hands. I didn’t hear much moaning from them about ”Smart Start” and “More at Four” implemented by Govs. Hunt and Easley. What about food stamps / EBT cards? Government money is given to those people, and they can choose WHERE they go to get the food they need. Why not apply that same logic to K-12 education?
Blinkin’ Chris doubled down by complaining that these gosh-darned private schools don’t provide near the quality that state schools do. I should hope not. Census data shows that private schools in North Carolina are able to teach students for HALF the per-pupil cost of public schools. Study after study has shown that the average private school or home-schooled student fares much better after graduation — collegiately and professionally — than the average public school student.
I have seen an awful lot of the end-product public K-12 has been churning out. If public schools were a business, they’d be up to their eyeballs in lawsuits and at risk of going belly-up from dwindling revenue and an evaporating customer base.
In the college courses I’ve been teaching, I’ve encountered kids with high school diplomas who struggle to read the course textbook. As a result of having taken so many fill-in-the-oval standardized tests, the kids struggle with simple short answer / essay / critical thinking assignments. The quality of writing I’m seeing from my students is far surpassed by what I see my friend’s 8 year old (home-schooled) daughter produce.
Houston, we have a problem. We’re tossing a lot of money at an institution that is failing its customers miserably. What’s that definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
We seriously need to apply some of the principles of capitalism to the education of our kids. Competition forces various entities in a market to step up their game or go belly up. The spirit of innovation has helped America and Americans make amazing strides over nearly two and a half centuries. Let’s inject some of that spirit into the very important task of preparing our next generation for success.