During National School Choice Week (January 26-February 1, 2014), millions of Americans will celebrate the promise and benefits of educational opportunity. For some parents, the Week will mark the start to a season of choosing – of visiting...
In a country where in a single year there are more than 100 new choices for what to use to brush your teeth, it stands to reason that maximizing “choice” might be a goal for all kinds of enterprises.
With that in mind, this week brought us “National School Choice Week” with its recurring theme that “parents should be empowered to choose the best educational environments for their children.”
In their reporting of a School Choice Week kickoff event in Houston, libertarians at Reason noted that Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) headed up the speakers. “The liberal Jackson Lee and the conservative Cruz may not have much in common,” Reason noted, but both seemed intent on pressing the case for school choice.
A blogger for the Houston Chronicle also highlighted the coming together of political right and left, crowing, “Who said Republicans and Democrats can’t come together?”
For sure, Republicans and free market enthusiasts of all kinds are going to continue to press for anything under the umbrella of “school choice.” But civil rights advocates – whether Democratic or not – need to ask, if school choice is about “empowering parents,” who is doing the “empowering” and what they are doing it for?
For years, free-market enthusiasts have sold school choice as a remedy for poverty, low education attainment, and racial segregation.
As economist Greg Anrig of The Century Foundation explained some time ago at The Washington Monthly, beginning with the presidential administration of Ronald Reagan, “a torrent of money” flowed into “conservative think tanks and advocacy groups” to formulate and promote “school choice” policies in all their forms, from vouchers to redirect public school funding to private schools, to charter schools that would compete with local public schools for enrollment and tax dollars.
President of National School Choice Week, Andrew Campanella, joins Mike to discuss the importance of balanced choice between a private school and public school. Andrew states that we need to give parents the choice to ...
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