Saturday, April 4, 2009

Private Schools

I took this school topic because of some personal experience with private schools. I attended a private Catholic school when I started Elementary school, grew up with many friends that attended private schools, and my current next door neighbors have just sent there oldest to private schools.

So here we go...

Private Schools: Schools not administered by local, state, or national government, which retain the right to select their student body and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students tuition rather than with public (state) funds.

Pro's:
*You can have secular and spiritual curriculum in the school day
*Very nice state-of-the-art facilities
*Better books and supplies
*Small class sizes (1:8, 10-15 students)
*More challenging curriculum

Con's:
*Cost. The annual national average tuition cost is $3,267. (based on numbers from US Department of Ed in 2000)
*Teachers are not required to have a teaching degree/teaching license
*Not held accountable to National Education standards
*No busing/transportation
*Students must pass an entrance exam
*May narrow your influence/associations within your community

*May not apply to all private schools.

My 2 cents, for what it is worth...

I did an internship for UEA during college and worked closely with public schools. I agree with and believe that if we, as a society, continue to "flee" from the public school system that it will be weakened and unbalanced in many ways.

I love the thought of tasteful/modest uniforms. It eliminates the peer comparison of fashion and inappropriate dress. Plus, I believe that better dress equals self-respect and better performance.

To include religion in everyday learning...that is AWESOME to me! Not that it can't be accomplished in the home at a separate time.

25 comments:

Spring said...

George Washington and John Adams founded this country because they were living under tyranny of England. They were being denied many freedoms, such as the freedom to worship how and where they chose. The current public school system and the push to make public schools the dominating choice takes away similar freedoms to choose, as parents, what’s best for our children. Not everyone in this nation has access to thriving, successful charter or public schools or can afford the tuition of private schools.

Think about how we are handling education and how the same concept applied to any other system in our society would be dictatorial. For example, what if instead of paying for food directly you were taxed and then given a dollar amount by the government to buy groceries. But, you can only buy groceries from a certain store depending on where you live. The food at your store is old, over processed, full of trans fats and sugars, and the store has no produce. The children eating this food are weak and sick. This would be appalling; the government would be oppressing these people and taking away their freedom to choose! This is not how it works in regards to food even when we are talking about government subsidized food stamps. With food stamps a family is given a dollar amount and they can take that money to whichever store they chose and buy the food they want for their family. But this oppressive scenario IS exactly how it works with education. In most cases, if you want your tax dollars to pay for your child’s education, you have no choice but to send her to the school dictated by the government.

There is enormous room for improvement in our educational system. Hardly any system in the United States is more backward. There is no other aspect where people who live in low-income neighborhoods are so disadvantaged as in the kind of schooling they can get for their children.

About 90% of children in the US go to public schools but parents are increasingly seeing schools become an area of governmental control and are concerned about the political agendas that are being taught to their young children. The problem is that, as the system has become more centralized, power has moved from the local community (families) to the school district, to the state, and then to the federal government.

We’ve all seen the dismal result of centralized public schools controlled by bureaucrats: some relatively good government schools in high-income suburbs and communities; very poor government schools in our inner cities with high dropout rates, increasing violence, lower performance and demoralized students and teachers.

Supporters of a public education system focus on the plight of the poor. How is the education, or lack thereof, for those youth in the poorest inner cities going to help them live the “American dream”, when the quality of the education they are receiving is keeping them down.

One of the most promising way to fix this serious problem is school vouchers. A school voucher is a certificate issued by the government by which parents can pay for the education of their children at a school of their choice, rather than the public school to which they are assigned because of their address. Parents take the tax money that is to be spent on their child’s education and use it to pay for the school of their choice. The money follows the child. Every child in America receives a voucher, every child receives an education, and every parent is given the freedom to choose.

What would happen if this sort of system were to be put into place nation wide? It would promote free market competition among schools of all types, which would provide schools incentive to improve. Successful schools would attract students, while bad schools would be forced to reform or close. The goal of this system is to localize accountability as opposed to relying on government standards. You would no longer have to be forced, whether you like it or not, to accept the service of the public schools, functioning as a monopoly; and public schools in many areas of this country are by definition monopolies.

The business community has a major interest in expanding the pool of well-schooled potential employees and in maintaining a free society with open trade and expanding markets around the world. Both objectives would be promoted by the right kind of voucher system.

As in every other area in which there has been a transfer from government to public control, the privatization of schooling would produce a new, highly active and profitable private industry that would provide a real opportunity for many talented people who are currently deterred from entering the teaching profession by the dreadful state of so many of our schools. This means, in general, better, more qualified teachers.
Just imagine if you had the FREEDOM to choose from several different, well functioning schools that were teaching in a way that you felt your child would thrive. You could choose a school where morals were taught and it would be paid for by your tax dollars.

Vouchers would reduce division of society according to class, they would build competition, and they would restore control to the people most competent to decide on children’s education: their parents!

Among the strongest critics of the voucher program are public school teachers’ unions, most notably the National Education Association (the largest labor union in the USA) which has spent millions litigating and lobbying against vouchers. Simple reasoning tells you these unions are working for teachers—not kids and not YOUR kids. Teachers' unions are bitterly opposed to any reform that lessens their own power, and they have acquired enormous political and financial strength that they are prepared to devote to defeating any attempt to adopt a voucher system. It would result in a loss of their control. Public schools are NOT free and are not paid for by the government! It is paid for with taxpayers money; our money. We are paying for the education our children receive through the public school system and on top of that, subsidizing the education of children whose parents don’t pay taxes. We happily do so to ensure that every child in this great nation receives the blessing of an education. We have the right to choose how OUR money is being spent on the education of OUR children.

There are many places in the US where the voucher system is being used. The city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin led the way in 1990 and now has nearly 15,000 students using vouchers. The 2006-2007 school year will mark the first time in Milwaukee that more than $100 million will be paid in vouchers. Twenty-six percent of Milwaukee students will receive public funding to attend schools outside the traditional Milwaukee Public School system.

As many readers of this blog have a connection to Utah I found it very interesting that a state-wide universal school voucher system providing a maximum tuition subsidy of $3000 was passed in Utah in 2007, but voters repealed it in a statewide referendum before it took effect. Education advocacy groups from all over the country poured campaign funds into Utah, where voters were to cast ballots in a referendum to repeal school vouchers. It makes me sick to think that Utah was so close to doing something so revolutionary that would lead our nation in a movement that would change so many children’s lives for good and finally brake the poverty cycle: so close. The teachers’ unions fought hard for the referendum; they do not want to lose their power and control. If Utah passed this other states would see its success and want to adopt a similar program. The union also fought hard to shoot down similar attempts in California as well as many other places. As soon as there is a desire from parents for better education, through school vouchers, like an iron fist, with all its strength, the teachers’ unions pound out any threat to weaken their monopoly.

Every child in this country has a right to receive an education; it is one of the things that makes America the greatest nation on this earth. We don’t have to blindly send our children to public schools as the only option to supporting education for all children. This country was founded on government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We cannot let groups that don’t have the children’s best interest at heart strong arm those who do. We can and must let our voices be heard on this nonpartisan issue and make the education system in America better for all children… our children.

As resourceful parents we can make the most of our educational system. We can volunteer in the schools; we can supplement our children’s public education at home. If you live in places like Utah or Arizona you may have access to good charter and public schools. If you feel like you don’t want your child in the public school you can homeschool. But, what about the truly impoverished families and children in America? They don’t have thriving charter schools in their inner cities, they can’t afford private schools. What about the parents who are working two jobs and can’t volunteer at school or the single mom who is working to make ends meet and doesn’t have any other options? The only choice they have is to send there precious child to a failing school full of drugs, sex, and violence. They are helpless, these children are helpless. What about them? There is a better way. We can stand up for these children and we must. That is the American dream!

Megan said...

I am sorry, but I don't agree with school vouchers. I do not think schools that do not require certified teacher, should be receiving public money. It is that something has been discussed many times in Utah. And, I will tell you I voted against vouchers. You have made a very good argument for vouchers and I really respect your opinion, but I disagree with it.

Spring said...

Megan, don’t forget that it’s not the public school systems money, it’s our money. We are the ones who should decide where it goes. Schools that are FULL of “certified” teachers are failing. The system is NOT working. Unfortunately, the “certified” stamp does not guarantee a quality teacher. My sister graduated from Arizona State University in elementary education, which is a nationally high ranking elementary ed program, and had to take an exam to be certified and said that is was so easy it was a joke and several of her peers had to retake it to pass. She said it was not necessary for her to go to four years of college to become “certified”.

Very recently when I started learning about school vouchers for the first time I had NO idea about what went on in Utah regarding vouchers. How the legislators passed the school voucher program with the best interest of the students in mind and how teachers unions, with THEIR best interest in mind, started a petition causing a referendum and then special interest groups from ALL OVER the nation poured millions into advertising against it and spreading false messages. As soon as I found this out (this week) my heart sank. I read article after article about what had happened and what almost brought me to tears is the thought that the unions prey upon good righteous people (like you Megan) and use their good intentions to push the union’s agenda and stifle any threats to weaken their control an power.

This isn’t about discrediting you or any other wonderful teacher. Thank you, thank you for putting your efforts and talents into teaching and raising up the children. But, I don’t know if you understand what is going on in other parts of the country. People refer to Utah as a “bubble” but I don’t think that’s an accurate statement. It’s a wonderful place full of good people working in their communities to make the state a better place. Utah should be an example to other states of what can happen when people work together for good. That is why it was so surprise to me that Utah passed the voucher program. The people there CARE about the children and have their best interest at heart. Megan, please, please don’t take any of this as a personal attack against great public school teachers, like yourself, and put your guard up. Look into the injustice that is going on in the nation and the real intents of the National Education Association – the largest most powerful union in the country - to hold onto all of their control, money, and power. Wonderful, smart, good people like YOU Megan can make a real difference in the world and stand up for the children. Good people CAN make a difference. You can change this country for good. You were so close in Utah. Please really educate yourself on this because YOU can do so much good for all the children and families who don’t have the resources you do

Please, please watch this 20/20 video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx4pN-aiofw

I sit here with tears running down my face thinking about what’s happening to these children and families in iron-locked union states. It’s not about of lack of money there it’s about freedom. The parents of these children desperately want them to have a better life then they do and to break out of the poverty cycle but they can’t. These parents in the poorest communities love their children just as much as we love ours but they can’t help them. Megan, we all can stand up together for good and make a difference in the lives of children in this country.

Jared and Delia said...

I respect what has been written here. I too see many flaws in the voucher system and in public schools. Some flaws I would anticipate for vouchers are: There will be schools that by requirement (maybe because of space)need to put a cap on their enrollment which could cause them to become more selective in their pupils in order to have the "best school." Those inner city children who are suffering most likely don't have transportation to take them to the best school that will most likely not build in their neighborhood and we know they don't already exist there. Schools are expensive, I think using existing institutions will be implemented more because of sheer cost. Plus, it is logistically impossible to bus children from such a large area who may choose to go to that "great" school. This would solve nothing. If we think that private donors will come in and solve these issues, if schools are taken on a more private business route, then what about the current private schools who operate on admitting many students by how much money their father donated or by who they know?

The vouchers can not be a fix all bandaid. I agree that the program could be pretty effective in Utah. BUT...there is no real inter city in Utah if you compare it to pretty much every other state except for maybe Idaho. How would that translate to other states then? Apples and oranges.

I also agree that public schools are far from perfect and some are just horrible.

I am a firm believer in early education and parent education and incentives. That is where we need to start to help give young families and children the help to start down the right path. There are even programs in my almost idealistic small community that are grossly under used that are great for strengthening parents to help them teach their children.

Families are the basic unit of society and central to God's plan. Helping families is where we MUST start. Maybe the voucher system could work, but I would not go as far to stating it's projected benefits as facts that would be a blanket cure for the nation's suffering education system.

I hope I didn't seem oppositional in any way. I think more options need to be considered and each state will need something different.

Spring said...

What does it mean to be a “certified” teacher? When someone graduates from college in elementary or secondary education they do not have take to take this certification test. Perspective teachers who want be employed through the public school system have to take the public school systems test that qualifies teachers or “certifies” them to work as their employee. Many companies have their employees take similar aptitude tests. When a teacher is “certified” it means that the public school system has said that this person has passed their aptitude test. Why would it matter to parents, who don't want to send their child to a public school, that the public school system has said a person has been certified by them to teach at another school that the public school system is not the employer of? Why is the public school systems aptitude test a determinant on where we can send our children to school? Why would the public school systems aptitude test have any relevance to whether or not a parent has the choice to send their child to another school and pay for their education with their own tax dollars?

Megan said...

Spring, I am not a teacher, never have been, and at this point in my life don't plan on being one except in my own home. I think it is important that someone who is in a classroom be certified. Yes, not all certified teachers meet par, but not all computer techs, doctors, nurses, or police officers meet par either. There are always going to be those few in some professions who should not be there. For the most par, all teachers want to make a difference and help their students succeed. It is not an easy profession to get a head in, but it can be done and most who are in the profession are capable and reliable teachers. Besides learning subject matter, teachers are taught classroom management and many other things to help their students succeed.

Private schools have their pros, don't get me wrong. But, I don't think privatization of the education field is going to solve all the problems either. As has been pointed out in Delia's comments, not many people are going to want to build a private school in a low income area when the majority students have to be accepted on scholarship or vouchers. They want people who can afford to pay tuition.

Megan said...

Also, you keep saying we should have a say in where our tax money goes. I don't want my tax money supporting a school where certified teachers are not in every classroom and where students have to pay an exorbitant amount to gain a spot. And, private schools can be selective in who the accept. So, if a low income, inner city child doesn't have the grades that private school wants, how will they be accepted for a spot in that school?

JeriLynn said...

Remember that we support public schools with our taxes, no matter where we send our children. Vouchers are a great way to get some of our money back.

Just because we choose not to send our children to public schools does not mean we want to abolish public schools altogether. Variety is good.

JeriLynn said...

Courtney, I agree with all three of your 2 cents!

I like uniforms. When Jay and I took a military history tour in DC 2 years ago, we saw groups of students, some with and some without uniforms. Even though I at first thought that those in uniforms were being stripped of their individuality, I soon found myself looking at their faces, rather than their exposed bellies or the logo across their rear. I noticed their faces. I found that striking, and I've been a fan of uniforms ever since.

Spring said...

JeriLynn, so true. Delia, did you watch that video? If you did I think it would answer some of your questions. Enrollment capping is exactly what happens in the BEST case scenarios of public schools. When a school district allows (and many don’t) parents to choose which school they send there child to, within a district or state, there is a long list of people who want to get their child into the best school in the district to give them the best advantages. So, they have a raffle. A few are admitted most are sent back to their under performing schools. They can not receive the better education.

Delia, as with all business, businesses will build a school where there is demand. There is a huge demand in poor cities that have TERRIBLE public schools. Building a school is expensive as is building a store but if you companies don’t build it they can’t offer your services. Wherever people are there are business and stores. Schools will be built if people are able to take their business else where. You don’t need private donors. Lack of money is NOT the problem. The money is there. Megan, under the voucher program parents WILL be able to pay for private schools with their tax dollars!! Your view of public schools sure sounds nice and I hope that’s the way it is where you live but that is NOT the way it is in many places! Watch the video. Schools will provide busses to accommodate their customers just like day care centers, like KinderKare, pay to bus their customers (children) from schools to their daycare program. It’s part of the business. Transportation is not the problem. The problem is there aren’t good schools for the children to be transported to. REMEMBER: If transportation it the key factor in your child’s education then you have the freedom to stay at the school with transportation. Megan, you say, “I don't want my tax money supporting a school where certified teachers are not in every classroom and where students have to pay an exorbitant amount to gain a spot.” Then don’t. Through the voucher program you can pick a school that you’re your requirements. But, why do you insist on not letting anyone else take there tax dollars and choose a school that they want their child to go to? Through the voucher program if parents like what the public schools have to offer they can keep their children there. There have been voucher programs before in different states in the poorest cities. Parents figure out a way to get their children to the better schools. Let’s not forget, people fled their home countries and everything they knew to come to America during the days of Ellis Island and every single day since. They are cramming themselves into the trunks of cars, walking across barren deserts, selling everything they have to take their family across the ocean in a boat crammed full of people and risking dying to come to America because this is supposed to be the land of opportunity, where their children can have a chance to succeed. Don’t tell me people aren’t going to figure out a way to transport their children to the best schools, and that’s assuming, which I’m not, that those schools won’t provide transportation to their customers.

Delia you said, “What about private schools who operate on admitting many students by how much money their father donated or by who they know?” If that is the way private school operated they would go out of business. They operate as all business do on supply and demand. Of course, there is some corruption as in all companies. Just like how the public school system offered to admit the Governor of South Carolina’s children to the best public school in South Carolina even though he did not live in that schools district – which is against the law there. He refused and asked, “How is that fair when no other family in the state is allowed to choose what public school their child goes to?” It’s in the video, watch it!

Education is universal. How is that apples to oranges? I don’t think you even UNDERSTAND what is going on in other cities. They need the help the most!

Delia, I agree wholeheartedly, helping families is where we MUST start. If you don’t see how is could possibly work in other cities what the video and see! It’s going on now in other places and it works!!

Tannie Datwyler said...

I think this gives us a lot to think about. I know that my mind has ben opened more and more. I think that none of us are truly experts in the field of education. We can make assumptions, give our opinions, and share thoughts, but really I don't think any of us have the full picture.

I have a lot to think about. Spring, you bring up an interesting idea. I would have to do more research on vouchers - thanks for the information. I think it is important to remember that I could find 50 articles supporting vouchers with very compelling thoughts, and I could also find 50 articles that do not support vouchers with equally compelling reasons. I am unsure of what my feelings are on this point.

I could read and reread all the comments and try to come up with other things to say, but the most I can say is that whatever the solution is, public school must improve. We have to find the right answers, and I ceratinly don't have that. I don't think that abandoning it is the answer though.

BACK to private schools specifically. I like your post Courtney. Although again, I think we must support public school as a whole, I think that sometimes private school is a good option for some reasons.

I also REALLY like the uniform thing too.

My brothers attended a private school in SLC called Desseret Academy. They really enjoyed it. My mom did it because she didn't approve of the middle schools here. I still have mixed feelings about why she did it, but they had a good experience.

A word of caution though - if you switch back and forth between a private and public school it can be difficult for your child to graduate from HS because the requirements are different. TWO of my brothers had that problem. They had to do extra work to get their HS deploma.

Also, some private schools fail because they don't have the right funding and attendance and so forth, so that can be frustrating when you as a parent have to find a new form of education.

Thanks COURTNEY!!

Jared and Delia said...

Spring...you are right! I will admit it when I am wrong. I was one of those many citizens who are afraid of this program because it is unknown and different. This program does seem promising. It is human nature to be afraid of change.

Also...I LIKE UNIFORMS TOO! It is a great equalizer and can reduce unnecessary distractions.

Tannie Datwyler said...

Oh yes, I did want to say one thing. Although a test, or degree in education doesn't necessarily mean that a teacher will be effective and well quailitied I do think that there needs to be requirements for teachers. What is the standard if they aren't required to have training? Does that make sense? It makes me nervous that there are teachers out there who haven't had training. But, again like Spring said, if vouchers were used you could do research and find out the requirements for teachers in the public schools in your area before you made a choice.

I also want to say that I didn't think my education program was a joke. I took two quailfication test for NCLB and I studied hard! I did well, and I didn't think the tests were easy.

My program was also grueling and prepared me well for teaching in a classroom. It is also very difficult to get into my program. Granted, not all programs are like this. I just wanted to point out that mine was EXCELLENT and I loved it.

In addition to that, as a teacher I did professional development on a very frequent basis. These trainings were targeted at our studetns and how we could improve their learning. I was constantly being pushed to improve myself as an educator. So, although there are so many schools out there that aren't doing well, there is hope!! I loved my school and we worked so hard for those kids. I came from a very strong district and a VERY strong school. That doesn'y always happen, and I know that. Perhaps what you say about choice with vouchers makes sense. Again, I need to research more.

Just keep in mind this - like Delia said - we are all resistant to change. We are taught that vouchers are the death of public education and they are not a good thing. I know this type of talk was very common in my school and in the university where I studied.

Is there another teacher out there who would care to comment on why they are against vouchers? I find myself woefully uninformed on this score. Spring has given very strong arguments for vouchers, and we have had two others giving thoughts against. I would just be interested to hear from another teacher because they are close to the situation and can perhaps give a view of what an educator would fear from them. I would do that, but I have already talked so much and again, I don't know a lot about vouchers.

Heather? Misty? Kelly? Courtney? Can you share?

Megan said...

Fishies, I really enjoyed your comment and I think you made an important choice. I agree with you that unless a parent is involved, they are not going to move their child based on a voucher, or for whatever other reason. Spring, I don't mean to be argumentative about vouchers. You have made some important points and I have been thinking about the subject most of the day. Maybe the main reason I don't like vouchers at this point is because I am resistant to change, but you have made me really think on my position and at this point, I'm still against them but learning more. Thanks for all the comments, I have thoroughly enjoyed our education week discussion!

Tannie Datwyler said...

Spring, I don't appreciate the way you have talked to some of our readers. Fishes was not calling parents idiots and just because her opinions aren't the same as yours doesn't mean she isn't right too. I have given a lot of ground and admitted TIME AFTER TIME that I am wrong. I have said that my mind is more open and that I will look into vouchers. You on the other hand have given little way and have openly attacked many who stand up for something different. How is that fair and any different from what you are saying some of us do?

I don't think fishes is implying that vouchers shouldn't be put into affect because she is power hungry. She like you, is just looking for the best solution.

I am going to remove some of your comments, and to be fair I will remove some of fishes. I don't want you to feel like I am singling you out. I'm not removing your comments because you defend school choice, I am removing it because it is hurtful. I'm so sorry it got this far. I think I am partially blame. I wanted to make my opinions known and we got into some good debate. I think up to this piont it has been great to have differing opinions and ideas, but this discussion has got too personal.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I deleted everything up to a point that I thought the conversations steered away from friendly avenues. I hope no one is offended by that.

Megan said...

I'm not, and thanks Tannie!

Tannie Datwyler said...

I think that we should be done with this discussion. Let's get back to being friendly and remember that this is a place for moms.

Dransfield said...

I know I'm not a mom...and will never be one...it's an XY thing...but I wanted to share the insights that I have gained by being an observer of the great topics and discussions related to them.
This forum for learning more about topics of interest for mothers is a great idea. I think that the group that have posted, particularly in this weeks educational posts, have presented a wide spectrum of ideas surrounding education. It is obvious that each commenter feels very strongly about her opinions and the facts that are shared in support of those opinions. I think that this diversity of ideas, and the analysis of them, can lead anyone to a more informed opinion.
In saying that, I am dismayed that portions of the debate were deemed inappropriate. In my opinion, I have not read anything that is accusatory or attacking of individuals. I have however read comments that directly and concisely give response to comments, ideas, and philosophies presented by others. This is in line with the objectives of this blog. One may disagree with another and yet be supporting her...if the information shared leads to a better outcome for the children this blog is focused on blessing.
I know that I am looking at this blog through the eyes of a man, and that it is generalized that men can debate issues and disagree while not becoming offended. In reality, I think that this is a justification to take offense...
The main idea is that one can have their opinion or philosophy challenged, without feeling that she or he is challenged because we are all so much more than those things. If I believe in a certain philosophy or theory, and if I learn a competing philosophy or theory, and it is obviously superior, am I a failure if I espouse the newer/better? What do I loose? I loose nothing, and gain in the process.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so freely. This has been a great forum for me to see in words the great depth that I have always known exists within the hearts and minds of mothers.
You go girls!

Cory said...

This has been an interesting exchange. I must say, I obviously have a bias here, but I do want to give credit to all of you for being brave enough to discuss the tough issues, and they don't get much tougher than this one.

I do wish to be fair here, and I truly do think that you are all very nice and very intelligent women. I do, however, want to express my disappointment with this forum when its readers are subject to censorship whether they follow your comments policy or not. Shouldn't you post on the forum that if someone makes a good point about something they're passionate about, but they're deemed "harsh" by those that disagree, they're comment will be deleted, but their rebuke will not be? I feel just as bad for Fishies as I do for Spring, they were both muzzled, and it does seem unfair to me.

Having said that, I will still check in once in a while on this blog, because I respect what you're all trying to do, it's admirable. I would encourage you all to embrace the opportunity to learn more about issues. In my line of work, before we make decisions, we must first gather all the information we can, so that our decision will be the best possible one for the company and its employees. I feel that's the method we should strive for in our personal beliefs. Let's gather as much information as possible, take the good and reject the bad, and we'll all be better for it.

Spring said...

As I read what Tannie was doing (deleting the voice of readers) I felt I was being treated unfairly. But, instantly I felt peace because I was reminded that I am blessed to live in a free country where people can speak their mind and have a debate about their ideas. I have the right to vote, to speak, to express my onions and to stand up for what I believe as does every citizen in this country. There are brave men and women, like Jerilyn’s husband, who are fighting and some dying to defend those rights. To them I say thank you! I have compassion on those who live in countries where they are not allowed to voice their opinions, where they don’t have rights.

Delia, thank you for your blog and your constant desire to do what is right and for starting this bog with those desires. This democratic exchange of ideas during your “education week’ led me to learning more about voucher programs and the great movement to help children across this country. As I researched voucher programs where I live, in Arizona, I learned that Arizona currently has two voucher programs in place, one to help foster children and one to assist children with handicaps to receive the best education they can and to help them rise about their disadvantages. I learned that as of last week several teachers unions, with their own best interests at heart, banded together to stop these programs and because of that they have been stopped effective next school year. I know that it was no coincidence that I have learned about these programs at this crucial time. I will be sending personal letters to my state legislators and continuing to fight for the children’s rights here in Arizona as well as across our nation. I do not have a spirit of fear. I know that I have a voice in this great country and can take a stand.

Delia, I don’t know if you agree with what Tannie did but if you don’t I hope that, as the founder and creator of this blog, you will do something about it. I think the readers of this blog deserve a formal apology for what has been done. Your blog has the potential to do much good, it has in my life. We can not be paralyzed by the fear that what we believe will offend someone and therefore do nothing. Ladies of the Village thank you for your desire to strengthen moms.

Even though, unarguably, this comment is not “profane or harmful in anyway” still I wonder will it be deleted? If I’m censored again, I won’t mind, because I know that in this great country I still have the freedom to voice my opinions. Now because of what has happened here, unlike ever before in my life, I see the grave importance of defending our rights, so that what has happened here can never happen in our democracy. We must never become complacent. We must defend our rights and liberties.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I wasn't trying to censor anyone and make them feel like there opinion was wrong. I simply felt that the goodwill that we are trying to produce on this blog has fled. I can't apologize enough for that. I'm sure I've made plenty of enemies in doing so, which was not my intention. I wasn't tying to muzzle anyone. The fact that I'm being called UnAmerican really hurts. I am just sick about this. I wasn't trying to be like that. I can't apologize enough. Please take it as the fact that all I was trying to do was protect the feeling of goodwill that we are supposed to have on this blog. We all make mistakes, but apparently I am to be raked over the coles for this one.

Anonymous said...

Stupid in America
Please do not be offended at the title of this video it is misleading, it is SOOO worth watching, it may not change your mind but it is a well stated point of view. Also I encourage you to watch the entire video. My favorite section starts at about 18 min into the film. Here is the Link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx4pN-aiofw

Courtney said...

Wow...I had no idea that this post would get such a response! I am grateful for all the comments and have yet to read all of them thoroughly.

Spring - I apologize if the wording of the UEA comment was offensive or taken as a one-sided statement. I see your point about vouchers, thank you for it, and I look forward to understanding more about it. =0)

I hope that no one was offended by this post. =0)

Student at Utah State University said...

Wow, so much info is contained in these posts, but it seems like this complicated issue is very simple to me.

Education is different for every single child. Make sure that the teachers of your children are right for them, no matter what type of school system. Get to know everything you can about the people who teach your children. Correct any false teachings as soon as possible and become involved in their school. (field trips, teaching assistants, volunteer in the library, play ground assistant) Don't trust any system blindly or think that because it has great success your child will do well there.

As long as you are trying to find the best source of education for each of your individual children then what else can you do as a parent?