“For myself, I want no advantage over my fellow man, and if he is weaker than I, all the more is it my duty to help him.” —Eugene V. Debs
I think there's a more important class struggle this speaker ignores... it's real problem is less rich and poor, it's the ruling class and the ruled class. The ruled class attends public schools like these in my home town, and the ruling class sends their kids to private schools. Vouchers could fix this, and they know it- which is why the ruling class opposes them so much. Every politician and "community organizer" who opposes vouchers educates their own children privately, from Jesse Jackson to the Kennedy's to the President. They strongly support public schools- for other peoples kids.
Vouchers would never cover the cost of a school like Choate, or Obama's Punahou. Instead, they cover the cost of union-busting cheap schools that don't have to accept students with expensive disabilities. They're best for schools that want to indoctrinate students in a particular religion, which is why, to get very pretentious, they're wrong for America. Other nations have excellent public schools. Why shouldn't the USA?
PS Wikipedia says Punahou costs $17,800 today.
Those schools in the article I linked to- the ones where only 19% of the high school graduates can read and write?- they get $13,500 per student. Not as much as Punahou charges, granted, but enough to go to all but two schools in the entire state of Indiana. Just a few years ago my brother in law was sending his kids to a parochial school that charged $2,500 and they passed ISTEP with flying colors. Yes, the US SHOULD have excellent public schools. We spend more by actual dollars per student (all those stories about how little we spend compared to other countries are using % of GDP, not dollars) and get little for it. Again, referring to the article I linked to, those low scores were from schools that HAVE BEEN UNDER THE MICROSCOPE FOR FIVE YEARS because of the threatened state takeover... and those poor numbers were still the best they could do. And don't try that "the poor public school teachers can't do anything with the crummy students they're given"- one of them, Thomas Carr Howe HS, is they one I attended (38 years ago), and I've moved back to the Neighborhood, Irvington... universally rated as one of the best in Indianapolis- Google it, or look in Wikipedia.
This boils down to a simple fact: all public schools should have equal resources. Under the current system, that ain't so.
@Joel: Then you will be very happy with what the ruling class has done in Wisconsin, opening up vouchers in several cities besides Milwaukee.Of course, the real ruling class schools (Prairie School in Racine, Wis., University School in the Milwaukee suburb of River Hills, to name just two) won't be participating in the program...Never mind that no reputable, peer-reviewed, statistically honest study has demonstrated that voucher schools do any better. Meanwhile, the single most rigorous study of class size continues to get ignored by, alas, even the Obama administration.
@Will:On class and race, this might be of interest...http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-residents-see-class-not-race-as-citys-great-divider/2011/06/17/AGZdU9bH_story.html