Share This Page

Educating America: The power of choice

| Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

The expansion of school choice in Washington, D.C., and its success with students is sending public school principals on a task not listed in their job description: They're going door to door to recruit and retain students in the nation's capital, where charter schools now account for 44 percent of total enrollment.

“In this era of school choice, families have become consumers and educators have become marketers as responsible for selling their academic offering as they are for teaching and learning,” The Washington Post reports.

And that benefits public schools, as well. Researchers in Florida, for example, found a tax-credit program prompted changes and improved student performance before students switched schools, reports Lindsey Burke for The Daily Signal.

In Milwaukee, public schools' student achievement improved as a school voucher program advanced.

Chalk this up to the power of competition. But to exert this positive pressure, the “choice” threshold must reach at least 6 percent of a district's students, according to a Stanford economist.

And there's the rub. From D.C. to Harrisburg, the public school edutocracy has stubbornly resisted all avenues for school choice in preservation of its own miserable monopoly.

For what Pennsylvanians spend on public education, the proven benefits of school choice should prevail. And school principals here, as well, should be knocking on doors.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.