Choice in Schools Still Widely Resisted

The Economist news magazine (May 5, 2007) reported

New research shows that parental choice raises standards–including for those who stay in public schools. FEW ideas in education are more controversial than vouchers—letting parents choose to educate their children wherever they wish at the taxpayer’s expense…the principle is compellingly simple. The state pays; parents choose; schools compete; standards rise; everybody gains. Simple, perhaps, but it has aroused predictable—and often fatal—opposition from the educational establishment.

Opposition comes from many sources, but mostly from occupations or services related to the near-monopolistic public school systems. Public school systems have bred whole industries and bulging middle management bureacracies where jobs and feelings of self worth depend on keeping their positions — regardless as to whether students get a good education or not. Teacher unions, education professors, researchers, school board officials and trustees and hosts of other dependents have superior skills, tools and finances to fight efforts to bring in parental choice in a marketplace of schools via vouchers, tuition tax credits or scholarships.

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