ERIC Number: ED379759
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb-11
Quality Education Not School Reform: A Modified Choice Proposal.
Consalvo, Robert W.
This paper presents a proposal for a modified school choice program that may serve as a public policy compromise to the current politicized and entrenched choice or no-choice positions. The Three Year-Three Step Performance Guarantee involves both choice and vouchers. The use of vouchers, however, is not directed at reforming schools, but at helping parents in a democratic society fulfill their obligation to educate their children to their fullest potential. The paper challenges the view of educational vouchers as reform strategies and argues that choice and vouchers are more properly tools to help specific children for whom the public schools are not working. The proposal is a modified choice program that allows parents of low-achieving students to find schools in which their children can succeed. It is based on three steps: first, any child who attends a public school for at least three consecutive years should perform at specified standards in basic skills; second, parents of low-achieving students are given a choice: either enroll their child in another public school in their community or receive a needs-based scholarship voucher so their child can attend either a public school in another community or a private (nonreligious) school; and third, the new school will be given the same 3-year period to raise the child's performance to standard. If the school does not succeed, the voucher is terminated. It is argued that the proposal assists low-achieving students most in need of acquiring a good education; protects the rights of children; protects the rights of the state to ensure an educated citizenry; eliminates the threat of dismantling the public schools; and introduces accountability for performance. Contains 31 references. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association (17th, Sarasota, FL, February 1994).