My friend Nick Pandelidis, a physician and entrepreneur in York, has published an excellent piece on school choice in the York Daily Record. After recounting much data, he concludes:
Vouchers provide parents the ability, which is rightly theirs, to choose a school they believe will best serve their child. Some may object that private or charter schools do not have to meet the same standards required of public schools.
Yet those public school standards have manifestly not generated quality outcomes or even a safe educational environment; and private schools will have to meet a higher standard, that of the parents. If the schools don't meet expectations, parents will look for a better option.
Arguments that would reject a limited voucher system because not all parents and students could take advantage of the opportunity would condemn all students to the same failed system - and further fail to recognize that success would breed success. Although choices are currently limited, demand created by vouchers will drive more and higher quality options; and in turn, accommodate more demand.
When a child in public school is more likely to be assaulted than achieving even nominal educational proficiency, the system has failed and radical reform is required. Parents should have the choice, and their choice will drive reform.
Amen, Nick, and thank you. This is a great, reality-based counter to those saying we need more of what hasn't worked (more money and more time) and those who say we can't save any kids until we save them all.