Gamble of The Century

The discussion within education on whether to use charter schools, a voucher system, or not; is the grandest question plaguing educational policy, for there is no conclusive research as discussed in an “A Critical Look at the Charter School Debate” by Margaret E. Raymond. Yet, both produce good amount of case studies to help one and another to enrich their respected programs.

Nonetheless, the metrics that has been used to evaluate success is through performance-math and reading scores-seems a bit arbitrary because the rate of people attaining degrees has been on the same trajectory before charter schools or voucher systems has entered the American educational arena. This fact can be observed in the “Educational Attainment in the United States: 2015” by Camille L. Ryan and Kurt Bauman, or the charts below from the report.

Therefore, performance does not have any effect on the attainment of any degrees received by students because one does not need to attain perfect scores (4.0) to obtain a degree. One may argue that a degree that is attained by achieving a 4.0 grade point average is better than getting it with a lower score, but one would need to prove that a higher grade point average is correlated with success rate in career. So, what can performance indicate? The question would allude one to assume that performance may be an indicator of future success rate in a career that heavily utilizes those skill sets, which is another experiment to be conducted by those who can conduct the research.

Moreover, a problem of having too many forms of institutions delivering education is that it thinned out the funding given to schools. John Oliver's discussion on charter schools explores the fund allocation issue that is brought on by charter schools. There is not enough funding to go around, which makes it more competitive to receive funds. It is then pivotal to have a single source delivering education because it allows all the resources to be centralized into one entity. The ideal system would be to have a public model due to the different incentive system they operate. A business model tends to seek to sustain longevity, whereas a public model is not concerned with longevity. Furthermore, another issue is the vast amount of different lobbying groups because they project their ideas onto policy makers. The money that goes into creating all these different lobbying groups could be better spent on funding nonpartisan research that analyzes the problem rather than looking for information to reaffirm its world view.

Education should not be a war zone of “what I think is correct” because it does not dive into the underlying issues, but seeks to find what reaffirms its world view. There is much progress to be made and apologizing to be done to students for gambling with their future.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.