School vouchers are a good idea. I have no problem with funding education with property tax so everyone gets access. But, the parents of school age children should get to choose where those funds are spent rather than send the funds to government run schools by default. I believe Walter Williams said we are better off for funding the military, but there’s a reason why the government doesn’t build the tanks.
School choice provides a true measure in a system devoid of true measures. But, it’s not the only true measure needed to save education. Two more true measures are key.
First, faculty need to be able to assess true grades and remove disruptive people from the classroom. The fact that grade inflation and social promotion are terms that exist is evidence that grades don’t accurately reflect the students’ proficiency of the subject matter.
Second, school administrators need the ability to remove bad teachers and reward good teachers. A bad teacher in the classroom should be as unacceptable as a rude waiter in a restaurant. Being a teacher shouldn’t mean guaranteed lifetime employment with little consequence for incompetence. Also, losing a good teacher who leaves education to seek better rewards should be as unacceptable.
Vouchers is an important step to bringing all these true measures in full force back to education. If parents choose to send their kids to privately run schools, those schools will be able to give accurate grades, kick out disruptive students and better hold teachers accountable, which will lead better schools.
Ultimately, the true measure of the quality of a school isn’t the students’ scores on a standardized test, or the teachers’ level of certification. Neither provide reliable information on quality of education. A truer measure of the quality of a school is how many people are trying to get in relative to how many people are trying to get out.