Though President Bush's No Child Left Behind act gives parents of children in failing public schools the option to choose to attend a non-failing public school, including private schools, I found that those options are not viable alternatives.
THE INVALIDITY OF SCHOOL CHOICE: WHY IT WILL NOT WORKI do not see how this plan can work realistically. I agree that the limited time frame and influx of children to non-failing schools could be create other problems such as over-sized classes, safety code violations, and the loss of federal and state funding to failing schools due to the loss of students. Since the school districts get an allotted dollar amount per child, the failing schools will see a significant drop in funding therefore setting them up for total failure. This could lead to school closings and openings of super-schools that are exactly one of the issues the "No Child Left Behind" act is trying to address.
Super schools have super-sized classes and do not give teachers an opportunity to truly "teach" their children. I call this the McDonald's effect.
Another form of providing school choice to lower-income families is to provide a voucher, which is public money that is available to parents to pay for the costs of a non-public education for their children. The problem with this incurs because the parents are at the mercy of the private schools. Since they are private, they have the right to refuse to accept the voucher and many do. They are afraid of the government having the right to go into their schools and tell them how to run it. One private school administrator stated that he is has experienced state inspectors entering his facility and telling him that the picture of Jesus on the wall must come down. The administrator said...