The Clipper's Opinion Letters of June 15 on the Allen-Jacobs campaign were very insightful. It's clear from the Allen letters I read that she has tied up the teachers' vote--they sure were well represented in the letters printed. I hope our teachers do a better job sharing the facts in their school rooms than Raymond Briscoe and Breck England did in their letters. Getting the "facts" on vouchers and home school from a union school teacher is like asking a Detroit union auto laborer about the quality of Japanese cars. When 15 year-olds from different countries took the same math test in 2003, American students from government monopoly schools finished 25th between the Slovak Republic and Latvia. You don't hear our public schools brag about this. If government monopoly schools are so great for our children why don't we also have government monopoly child care and health care for them also? Vouchers mean competition and competition is good, even if educators with socialistic leanings believe otherwise. Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby researched communities where vouchers are used and discovered that scores improved at the local public schools as a side-effect. Competition works.
Mr. Briscoe's comment that home school success is not typical is so obviously false and so easily refutable, it makes you wonder about the veracity of the rest of his letter. There are over one million home schooled children in the U.S. representing 2 percent of school aged children and the numbers have been growing by 10 percent each year. The growth is a clear condemnation of government schools failure to provide an education acceptable to these families. Studies consistently show home schooled children score 15-30 percentile points above the national average and score almost 10 percent higher on the ACT.
I have found Representative Allen to be a very accessible representative--she's always willing to hear what you say, but her position on education is too closely aligned with secular humanist educational leaders. When I encouraged her to support this year's senate bill on the origins of life she replied via email that such decisions were best left to the board of education to decide. The board of education is opposed to discussing any theories on the origin of life except for Darwinian evolution; even though most parents teach their children differently. Had this bill passed the schools would have been required to acknowledge there are other explanations for the origins of life apart from the very flawed primordial soup theory. Atheists are celebrating about this.
What about you? I am afraid we can expect more of the same votes from Representative Allen if she is re-elected.
The voters in District 19 have a clear choice in the Allen-Jacobs race. If they are pro-teacher's union, pro-government school administration, then vote for Allen. If they want parents to have more education options, then vote for Jacobs.
Don L. Milne