What School Choice Isn’t
Chances are you have probably heard something about school choice, but don’t really know the details. (Heck, I know I didn’t until I started looking in to it.) You almost certainly have some preconceived notions about school choice, so it might be a good idea for us to talk about what school choice isn’t before we talk about what it is. (That’s a rambling kind of way of saying let’s start with a blank slate.) Let’s take a look at the big three myths circulating about school choice.
- School Choice isn’t an attempt to do-in public schools. Nothing could be further from the truth. In places around the country, like Milwaukee and Washington, D.C., where school choice has been tried, public school performance has actually improved. In fact, everywhere school choice has been instituted has experienced improvement in public schools.
- School Choice opponents regularly claim that the plan is an underhanded way of promoting segregation. But, in reality, the opposite is the case. According to a recent study by the Friedman Foundation, school choice actually encourages integration efforts. The report found that private schools are less segregated at the classroom level than are public schools.
- Another myth floating around about school choice is that the proposal is unconstitutional. Well, not according to the Constitution. In 2002, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a Cleveland, Ohio school voucher program (I promise after a few days you’ll know exactly what all those terms, like vouchers, mean but for now, just hang in there) did not infringe on the Constitutional separation of church and state.
There are other myths out there, but these three are the ones you’re mostly likely to hear. But, don’t just take my word for it. Look into the issue yourself. Move your eyes right and scan down that column over there →. You see it? There are some good resources you can look through to make your own decisions. Stay tuned to the “Voice” to find out what school choice really is.