School Choice– Education at a Crossroads

Because I amI a former school teacher, I found this article very important. I know first hand the power of the National Education Association. I know first hand that the NRA is much more concerned with power and keeping bad teachers in jobs and teacher pay then they are in quality education.

I quoted this article heavily. It is worth a careful read. Read the original article and share it with everyone. Our nation must have school choice.

In some of the country’s largest school districts,less than half of all children graduate. These failing schools tend to be located in inner cities and serve poorminority students.

Those schools have virtually no incentive to improve because they face no penalty for failure. In Washington, D.C.’s schools a few years ago, for example,most students were reading below grade level,yet virtually every teacher (98 percent) was ratedabove average.

The educational establishment’s standard response to educational failure is to call formassive spending increases. Yet today,while inflation-adjusted per-pupil spending has more than doubled since 1970 — it now exceeds $11,000 perstudent per year–academic achievement has stagnated, and high-school graduation rates for disadvantaged children have remained flat.

To achieve meaningful educational reform, parents should be empowered to hold schools accountable through school choice

Nevertheless,nearly three-quarters of America’s children remain in government-assigned public schools, all too many of which fail to provide even a safe learning environment,let alone a good education.Scandalously, American teachers’unions are doing everything in theirpowerto restrict parental choice in education. And thanks to their deep pockets,they often have the political clout to succeed.

Nevertheless,nearly three-quarters of America’s children remain in government-assigned public schools, all too many of which fail to provide even a safe learning environment,let alone a good education.Scandalously, American teachers’unions are doing everything in theirpowerto restrict parental choice in education. And thanks to their deep pockets,they often have the political clout to succeed.

From the article:

To understand the power of teachers’ unions to blockeven the most promising educational reforms, considerthe ongoing struggle over school choice in our nation’s capital. Today, public schools in Washington, D.C.,enjoy the dubious distinction of leading the nation in violence while ranking among the lowest in academic performance.

That’s why the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program,launched in 2004,was such a breakthrough. According to a federally mandated evaluation,the use of an opportunity scholarship resulted in the equivalent of 3.7 months in additional learning forstudents. Moreover,these $8,500 scholarships,which enable students to attend a private school,are half the cost of the $18,000 per-pupil price tag fora year in a D.C.public school.

Yet the program has been at the heart of a pitched battle for survival over the last few years,with the teachers’ unions gunning forit at every turn.

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