210Paper - Mark Twain once wrote"In the first place God...

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Mark Twain once wrote, “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.” Ever since the establishment of an organized system of education, there has been a desire to improve and change the system. The most effective way to teach a child the skills and information relevant to their culture has been and will always be a much debated subject. The debate becomes so fraught with controversy because every successful culture agrees that giving the youth of society the chance to carry on the work and fulfill the dreams of their predecessors is the key to prospering. Many people believe that each child must be given the chance to prove their worth in this world. From this school of thought came the idea for school vouchers. School voucher programs are established in order to give children from low- income families a chance to receive education at schools they couldn’t afford without financial aid. School vouchers can be provided either by the private or public sector. Private school vouchers are provided by members of the community who wish to give someone less fortunate the chance to receive a private education. In communities where voucher programs are established, either the state or local government provides financial aid. School voucher programs are currently in place in areas of the District of Columbia, Florida, Maine, Ohio, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin ( www.ed.gov ). In order to get some idea of how a voucher program works, the Milwaukee Voucher Program will be used as a reference Students participating in the program are eligible to receive $2,500 dollars per year to attend a voucher school. In order to be eligible, the student must come from a family with a specified income level. For the private school to be eligible as a voucher school, it must drop all religious affiliation, cannot charge voucher students tuition of more than $2,500 dollars, and must accept voucher students at random. The voucher
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school cannot base their acceptance on the academic abilities of the voucher students, or any other criteria. Funds for these vouchers are taken from supplemental state aid which is drawn from the local tax area (Peterson, 1996). A program such as school vouchers which encompasses an entire community is usually created by the members of that community. The same is true in this case; the program in place in Milwaukee is just one method of establishing a school voucher program. Instead of voucher programs, some communities have created other quality alternatives to traditional education. Many communities have created institutions called charter schools. These schools are semi-public. They are partially funded by the government and cannot refuse admission based upon academic criteria. These schools are exempt from many academic standards, and usually operate with an alternative approach to learning. The teaching is done in a more “hands-on” style, with more field trips and less book work than many public schools. Another alternative to both vouchers
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2008 for the course SOC 210 taught by Professor Professor during the Fall '05 term at University of Wisconsin.

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210Paper - Mark Twain once wrote"In the first place God...

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