Monday, January 16, 2006

School choice

Read this article on Milwaukee's school choice program...a success by any standard at increasing performance and helping parents to have options for educating their children. Of course, the teachers unions and liberal politicians are standing in the way of expanding the program and capping the number of enrollees at private institutions who receive public scholarships to attend private schools.

Teacher unions have their own answer to the collapse of public education in the inner cities: ship truckloads of money to poorer districts in the name of "social justice." But many Milwaukee parents aren't buying that. They have painfully learned that more money spent on a failed system does not produce better education. They want to make their own decisions about their children's future.

In the early battles over establishing the Milwaukee program, opponents backed down only when Milwaukee parents began comparing Bert Grover, then the state school superintendent, to George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door. The front lines of today's civil rights struggle are not in the South but in Milwaukee.

I'm not going to accuse teacher's unions of caring more for their money than they do about kids, because I know people who work for teachers unions and they don't strike me as uncaring about the children whose interests they are suppose to protect...but then again, it's not their job to protect children is it? They are suppose to protect teachers. Let's not confuse the issue by thinking they are looking out for the interests of students or NOT looking out for the interests of children by putting up roadblocks to programs that would give parents more options for educating their children.

I sure wish we had more options around here. I'm happy with my public school, but my kids are young. When they get older I'm quite sure I'm not going to be thrilled with some of the education they are receiving and might like to explore other options. Of course, I can always pay for it myself, which is the Republican thing to do I guess.


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