This week many Americans are recognizing national School Choice Week, which hopes to highlight the positive reforms available to address our broken education system. There has even been some action on the part of Republican lawmakers.
As PeoplespunditDaily.com previously reported, Sens. Tim Scott (S-SC) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have proposed dual plans to address some of these reforms. Unfortunately, rather than having an informed and reasonable debate, they have been attacked by the proponents of the government monopoly on education. And they aren’t the first.
Ben Chavis, Lumbee Tribe member and former head of the American Indian Model Charter Schools, was targeted in 2010 by California proponents of the government monopoly on education. Unfortunately, the Oakland school board voted 4 – 3 against Mr. Chavis and he was run out along with AIM.
While they never did substantiate the preposterous and unfounded claims of impropriety they waged against him, they did irrefutable harm to the minority students who benefited the most from school choice opportunity. I wrote about this and other school choice programs extensively in Our Virtuous Republic, but one quote from the book is noteworthy to address here. Andrew Coulson, an education policy expert who studied the performance of AIM chatter schools and school choice, wrote in his 2011 study:
I found that AIM is the highest-performing charter school network in the state, by a wide margin. Low-income black and Hispanic AIM students actually out-perform Lowell, one of San Francisco’s most respected and academically selective high schools.
What a shame.
Proponents of the government monopoly on education have cited:
- Impact on student performance
- Impact on public schools
- Impact on the taxpayer
- Impact on segregation
- Impact on ethics
A study released by the Friedman Foundation took a look at the 19 studies conducted on school choice programs in recent times, concluding that school choice negatively impacted each of the above arguments nearly never. Again, I wrote about this before, but it is well worth citing it again, particularly since it is national School Choice Week and it matters so much.