John Stossel: Escaping government schools
Now I know that public school — government school is a better name — is one of the worst parts of America. It's a stultified government monopoly. It never improves.
I call them "government" instead of "public" schools because not much is "public" about them. Members of the public don't get to pick their kids' schools, teachers, curriculum or cost.
Now a school choice movement has given government schools a sliver of competition. Private schools, charter schools, vouchers, education tax credits and the Web offer competition. Not all the alternatives work, but with competition, bad alternatives die and good ones grow.
But so far, the alternatives reach only a small number of kids. Unions and bureaucrats don't want competition, and they use their political clout to stifle it. But gradually, they're losing.
Homeschoolers do just fine. Somehow, without government control, they prosper.
Bunk. If it was ever true, it isn't now.
He also looked at who sat with whom in school lunchrooms. At private schools, students of different races were more likely to sit together.
When government gets bad results — high dropout rates, poor test scores — its defenders say schools need more money. But spending per student has tripled. There are more computers, teachers, social workers, reading specialists, principals, assistant principals, etc. But test scores haven't improved.
A bizarre column in Slate recently, arguing that school choice might drain resources away from government schools, was titled, "If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person".
They don't understand that market competition helps everyone, especially the poor.
I think those who want to force a single-government solution on everyone are just confused — but if I were as judgmental as that Slate columnist, I'd be tempted to conclude that they're bad people.
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