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Education "vouchers" solve the fiscal crisis, and also lead to economic recovery?

Simply open up K-12 education to the market place, with government only playing a role by financing the students with a yearly education check of $8000.

*www.usagovernmentspending.com shows American local governments spending $458.3 billion for K-12 education in 2012.
*(Sir Ken Robinson says this education system is a complete failure)
*The new education cost of $8000 education check to 50 million K-12 students is $400 billion per year
*This saves $58.3 billion
*(a $6000 check would save $158.3 billion)
*The yearly education check allows students(and their parents) to choose how, when, where, and what they learn, and also who teaches them
*The yearly education check of $8000 opens up a $400B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives
*($6000 check opens up a $300B/year market to entrepreneurs, teachers, and creatives)

State fiscal crisis solved, federal fiscal crisis solved, and the new education market leads America's economic recovery.

Thoughts everyone?


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    Jan 19 2013: @Brock
    Your conviction of the ineffectiveness of vouchers is as great as Petar's belief of their effectiveness. My knowledge of this matter is mostly based on watching a large number of families participating in a lottery for school vouchers. The joy of the winners and the despair of the losers leads me to believe that parents hold these vouchers in high regard. The losers stated they wanted these vouchers for the betterment of education for their children. The cost of a commercial education vs. public could be lower based on market competitiveness, but if we look at higher education, it would seem that quality is tied to cost. Although I am hard pressed to measure the quality of education of a BA from downtown college and Harvard compared to the 1000% cost differential. Further, I question if any monies would be gained from voucher programs to be used to address the fiscal crisis. There is too much pork out there for government to buy.
    I am more concerned that our public education system has demanded more and more funds to provide our children an education. When questioned, the response is if they are not funded our children would be harmed. We don't want our children harmed in their education, so we've paid. But over the last 50 years, the measured level of our children's education has fallen precipitously. Our country is being dumbed down. There are a thousand examples of this.. for another conversation.
    If the nation gets much "dumber", it won't be long before there will only be a few highly knowledgeable academia who could help us govern our nation. I know it sounds far fetched, until I read a paper by a highly respected professor of political science who asked... why do we need the Constitution? But, don't take my word for it, go ask a young person.
    (I have already done this). American History? Government? Mandarin Chinese? They know more Chinese. OK, I've exaggerated, but not by much!
    • Jan 19 2013: A Parent's perception that schools are failing doesn't make it so. The joy or sorrow of winning or losing a voucher lottery doesn't tell us anything. Those that competed for them already perceived them as a better choice. Otherwise, they wouldn't have competed for them in the first place.

      "The cost of a commercial education vs. public could be lower based on market competitiveness"

      Competition doesn't really lower prices, innovation does. A for-profit organization's primary concern is the bottom line. On any given demand curve, there are precisely two points that maximize profit. Those two points are where price tend to gravitate towards regardless of competition. This is where public schools have a true advantage. They have no need to incorporate profit into the cost.

      That leave us with the question of innovation or efficiency. How much more efficient can we get? Consider a math class: A room, a chalkboard, a teacher, and 30 desks. There just isn't much room for improvement aside from increasing class size. Any innovations beyond that can be implemented in BOTH public and private schools. Your Harvard example is great in that it we really are left with the question of why they charge so much more given that they teach the same thing, under the same basic conditions.

      We can also show that a larger customer base isn't necessarily going to decrease the cost of private schools either. There are plenty of private schools that have student populations nearing 1000, yet they still charge $15,000 - $20,000 in tuition. In some parts of the country, public schools also have low population counts (100-200 students), yet the average cost overall is still only $9,166.

      "I am more concerned that our public education system has demanded more and more funds to provide our children an education."

      We know exactly how much our public education system costs, and it is significantly less than private schools with similar results.
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        Jan 20 2013: If vouchers lead to expensive private schools at tens of thousands and won't be tied to the learning criteria of the public schools. You have a point.
        My concern has been that the $9K we are paying for public education is way too much for the value received.
        • Jan 20 2013: "My concern has been that the $9K we are paying..."

          That maybe true, but that is a different topic altogether. I have a TED conversation that talks about textbooks that you might want to look at. (as one idea for saving money on education)

        • Jan 20 2013: Brock, please stop lying.
          1. Competition lowers prices because it takes away a monopolist's rent. Most everyone (except for you?) knows this.

          2. What do competitors do to out compete their opponents? They innovate. Most everyone (except for you?) knows this.

          3. Innovation or efficiency is a false question because your premises are false (see 1,2). And the question is false dichotomy anyways because there are innovations in efficiency.

          4. "larger customer base isn't necessarily going to decrease the cost of private schools either." That's false, this is called economies of scale. And you actually used an economies of scale argument for public schooling early in the conversation.

          5. The average cost for K-5 education is around $5000-$6000 a year at private schools. $9000 minimum at public schools. Day cares are $100-200 a week from 6:30am to 6:30pm, putting 36 weeks of day care at $3600-$7200.Your $15,000 tuition fee is patently false for K-5. Thousands of private high schools cost less than $8000/yr to attend.

          6. The $9k being too much is EXACTLY the topic of this conversation and thread, and it would be great if you could go take your lies and false information over to your own conversation.

          7. Nationwide high school by grouping:
          -21% of Asians fail to graduate
          -24% of whites fail to graduate
          -40% of blacks fail to graduate
          -42% of Latinos fail to graduate

          8. "91 percent of the D.C. students who received the voucher scholarships graduated, according to lead researcher Patrick Wolf of the University of Arkansas. That's compared to a 70 percent graduation rate for the kids who hadn't won vouchers."

          Brock you are a liar with an agenda.

          Moderators please remove Brock Hardwood from my conversation.
        • Jan 20 2013: @Petar
          you said:"1. Competition lowers prices because it takes away a monopolist's rent. Most everyone (except for you?) knows this."

          I aced my college economics. Did you? There are already 5,000 private schools, and the average cost for them is still $20K per year, with the top performers costing $40K


          "2. What do competitors do to out compete their opponents? They innovate. Most everyone (except for you?) knows this. "

          And still, with all that competition between 5,000 private schools, they still haven't been able to innovate a tuition that costs less than public schools while still providing the same level of academic standards.

          Point #3 relies on your misconceptions of points 1 & 2.

          "this is called economies of scale..."

          Economies of scale minimize the impact of fixed costs and costs associated with research - research being the most significant. With small schools, fixed costs are less because they can simply acquire a smaller building. In other words, fixed costs scale pretty smoothly with the size of the student body. Research in education theory is pretty much non existent. A teacher, a room, a chalkboard, textbooks, and students is the way it has been done for thousands of years, and it isn't going to change anytime soon.

          "The average cost for K-5 education is around...."

          Provide a source. Otherwise, you are lying.

          "6. The $9k being too much is..."
          Off topic. We are discussing vouchers as a solution (which they are not), not the cost in general.

          Point 7: true, but still off topic.

          "8. "91 percent of the D.C. students..."

          True, but private schools can graduate a student by whatever standards they wish, and it doesn't have to be much. You are comparing apples to oranges.

          "Moderators please remove..."

          This speaks volumes about you...You KNOW you are wrong, so you prefer censorship.
        • Jan 20 2013: You have your own conversation Brock, please be respectful of others and go there.
        • Jan 20 2013: @ Petar...

          A CONVERSATION involves more than one person...This is not your own private blog to fudge reality.

          When it comes to respect, you have none. You prefer to make character attacks rather than debate the topic. Of course, we both know that your position is weak, and maybe that is why you are doing it.

          I have no agenda other than to insure that the U.S. provides the most cost effective education while still maintaining curriculum standards. Public education costs a fraction of the price of private schools with similar results.
      • Jan 20 2013: Mike,
        Vouchers do not lead to more expensive private schools, Brock is lying through his teeth and he has an agenda.

        My opinions on vouchers come through the 20+ years of empirical research and studies done on vouchers, and their outcomes compared to the current public education system. The conversation on this topic started out very well until Brock showed up and started spamming every posters with lies and misinformation. This conversation was very productive up until Jan 10, when Brock started sabotaging everything.
        • Jan 20 2013: There have been plenty of studies, but they NEVER compare apples to apples.

          Private schools cost, on average, twice as much as public education, they have selective admission policies (they can choose to only admit proven academic performers), and they have non transparent curriculum standards (they can graduate someone based on low standards if they choose - artificially inflating their graduation rates).

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