Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Finding an All-Inclusive School Choice Plan

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Finding an All-Inclusive School Choice Plan

Article excerpt

Regarding the editorial "Chelsea's Choice of School," Jan. 8: I am disturbed by the final two sentences. The editorial states that President Bush's broad-based choice plan would "siphon public money into private and parochial institutions" and "would undercut public education."

You seem to forget that such an all-inclusive choice plan is actually putting a free-enterprise type of competition into effect. Such competition can go from one extreme to another. You assume that the outcome would be in favor of private and parochial education.

It is possible, however, that public education in some places could become so effective that many students attending private schools or being taught at home would rather opt to attend public school. If we are to experience the full dynamic, catalytic influence on education reform that is expected from a choice plan, the more far-reaching and broad-based type is more likely to provide this much-needed impetus. Public schools will suffer only if it is allowed to happen. Eugene Henderson, Lacey, Washington Character education

Regarding the front-page article " `Character Education' May Become Need of 90s," Jan. 14: People expect schools to make up for their own failings as parents. It is not the job of the schools to do this, nor could they if they tried. What effect can courses in ethics have when students return home and see their parents cheating on taxes or on each other, lying to business associates, and flouting laws?

How successful can formal ethics education be when kids, ignored by their parents, turn to TV or the streets, where they see mainly examples of unethical behavior. Maybe what is needed in schools are not courses on ethics, but rather courses on parenting. Jeff Johnson, San Francisco The `look like America' Cabinet

Hooray for the editorial "Trial by Diversity," Dec. …

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