It brings me back to that bully educational manifesto of President Barack Obama's secretary of education, Arne Duncan, who explained in an NPR interview, "I'm a big believer in choice and competition, but I think we can do that within the public-school framework."
There's something that the U.S. government and unions don't want you to know. And it came out a short time ago in a Heritage Foundation report on education. It conveys the general public's increasing dissatisfaction with public education and tells of the rising number of people opting for private education.
The report explains that during the 2007 and 2008 legislative sessions, 44 states introduced school-choice legislation. Forty-four states! And in 2008, choices for private school were enacted into law or expanded in Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. And as of 2009, 14 states and Washington, D.C., offered voucher or education tax credit programs.
Despite the growing public preference for private education, however, Congress last year canceled the District of Columbia's Opportunity Scholarship Program, created in 2004 to offer students from low-income families in the nation's capital an opportunity to join the school voucher community. The law provided $14 million in scholarships to help pay tuition at private schools of their choosing. But no longer.
And why did Congress nix the program, especially when studies had shown that students receiving vouchers since the program's inception were academically 18.9 months ahead of their peers? (All of Thurgood Marshall Academy's charter graduates are accepted to colleges.) Why would Congress phase out a program that cost $7,500 per student annually, compared with the $15,000 it costs in Washington's public schools to educate a child?
There's only one reason Congress canceled the program. It's the same reason at the heart of the teachers unions' battle in Wisconsin. It comes down to this: control and educational indoctrination.
I wrote in the paperback expansion of my New York Times best-seller "Black Belt Patriotism: How To Reawaken America": "The reason that government ... (is) cracking down on private instruction has more to do with suppressing alternative education than assuring educational standards. The rationale is quite simple, though rarely if ever stated: control future generations and you control the future. So rather than letting parents be the primary educators of their children -- either directly or by educating their children in the private schools of their choice -- (government wants) to deny parental rights, establish an educational monopoly run by the state, and limit private education options. It is so simple any socialist can understand it. As Joseph Stalin once stated, 'Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.'"
Parents deserve educational choices. Choice is what this country was founded upon.
Want to better U.S. public education? Feed the competition!