Chris Dierkes

Chris Dierkes (aka CJ Smith). 29 years old, happily married, adroit purveyor and voracious student of all kinds of information, theories, methods of inquiry, and forms of practice. Studying to be a priest in the Anglican Church in Canada. Main interests: military theory, diplomacy, foreign affairs, medieval history, religion & politics (esp. Islam and Christianity), and political grand bargains of all shapes and sizes.

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12 Responses

  1. Freddie says:

    One thing that I try to stress to people is that, among the myriad other factors confounding the use of private school vouchers, if you propose their use as anything resembling a widespread solution to our educational problems, you’ve got to ask not only whether there is a genuine advantage of private versus public, but whether that advantage is upwardly scalable to an enormous degree. Last time I looked there was something like 55 million American kids in public schools and something like 6 million in private school. People who believe in vouchers as a widespread solution, or replacing public school entirely, are betting that private school capacity can be increased by 10 times, without a loss in the quality edge that they believe private schools enjoy.Report

  2. E.D. Kain says:

    Right – which is totally ludicrous of course. Yes, we could replace all public schools with “private” subsidized schools but in my best-case scenario we’d still have all the problems inherent in today’s schools. The poor areas would just have poor private schools….Report

  3. Michael Drew says:

    I’m glad there’s some sense being talked down here in these comments.Report

  4. E.D. Kain says:

    I do have more to say about this and Mark’s latest. I’m just short for time…Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to E.D. Kain says:

      I’ve been away, and just caught your post on the underlying logic of vouchers vis-a-vis our committment to public ed. My hat is off. Crucial, critical stuff and beautifully written by you. It’s basic stuff that just got subsumed in the last 10 yrs by the deluge of argumentation from market-promoting think-tanks etc. I posted some comments there that no one will see now. But your debate with Schwenkler was classic. Your making these arguments afresh really is encouraging for me.

      Doesn’t it seem this really is a case of a gulf between mindsets a la Bush supporters/Bush detractors? Just an inability to see how the other side can hold their position? That’s how I feel annyway.

      I’ll look eagerly for your next on this.Report

  5. Stuart Buck says:

    ED’s strongest rebuttal is that a voucher system would inevitably create a hybrid big government/corporate merger. It would also inevitably lead to government attempts to engineer–whether in the form of “nudging” or outright experimentation & overhauling–the perfect educational solution.

    I made a similar comment in the other thread: What you say is his “strongest” point has zero evidence to support it, even after more than a decade of numerous voucher programs in multiple states and cities.Report

  6. Chris Dierkes says:


    could you send me some links to look at?Report

  7. Stuart Buck says:

    Well, I’m not sure what you’re looking for. What I’d like to see are links showing that the voucher programs in Cleveland, DC, Milwaukee, NYC, Arizona, Florida, etc., have led to a “big government/corporate merger,” whatever that means.Report