Andrew Work (4 June 2005)
Fact: A petition signed by over 10,000 parents was delivered to CE Tsang last Wednesday that “criticized the commission for excluding parents from selecting the language of instruction for their children‿.
Fact: The Hong Kong Teachers’ Union believes that schools should not have the discretion to decide what language to use.
Fact: The World Bank, examining experience in 20 countries, reports: “The typical voucher system, which is one in which governments subsidize “schools of choice” in strict proportion to enrollment, appears to be contributing to the growth in quantity and quality of schooling.‿*
Hong Kong parents have complained that they are left out of the decision-making with regard to their children’s education. While teachers’ unions continue to influence policy to suit their members, parents are left out of the decision making process.
Education is one of the most crucial decisions a parent makes about their child’s upbringing. In today’s school system, parents have little to no choice at all. Ultimately, it is they who are responsible for their children.
School vouchers allow parents to make choices about not only what type, but also exactly which school their children attend. Schools that respect parents’ decisions and provide educational satisfaction thrive.
Armed with choice, parents decide what is important to them in education, neutralizing disagreements between special interest groups and the government, thereby increasing social harmony. Special interest groups are free to open schools reflecting their values and can attract students accordingly.
Decision-making should be left with parents – not unions or government officials. After all, whose children are they?
Quote of the Week:
“The fundamental purpose of education is to enable the individual to defend himself against all those who would coerce his opinion and rob him of his livelihood, be they bureaucrats, clergymen, soldiers, beggars, or merely well-intentioned reformers.‿ — anon
*Fact 1 & 2:
Choice of language denied to schools
Education Vouchers In Practice And Principle: A World Survey
More: Maureen Wahl, “Third Year Report of the PAVE Scholarship Program,” 1995, Partners Advancing Values in Education, 1434 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233.
David J. Weinschrott and Sally B. Kilgore, “Educational Choice Charitable Trust: An Experiment in School Choice,” Hudson Briefing Paper No. 189, March 1996, Hudson Institute, Herman Kahn Center, P.O. Box 26-919, Indianapolis, IN 46226, (317) 545-1000.
Study Finds Higher Test Scores Among Blacks With Vouchers