Walter E. Williams

The documentary leaves no question about the poor education received by white students, but that received by many black students is truly disgusting and darn near criminal. Stossel interviewed an 18-year-old black student who struggled to read a first-grade book. ABC's "20/20" sent him to Sylvan Learning Center. Within 72 hours, his reading level was two grades higher.

"Stupid in America" included one story where a teacher sent sexually oriented e-mails to "Cutie 101," a 16-year-old student. Only after six years of litigation was the New York City Department of Education able to fire the teacher, during which time the teacher collected more than $300,000 in salary.

The solution to America's education problems is not more money, despite the claims of the education establishment. Instead, it's the introduction of competition that could be achieved through school choice. Most people agree there should be public financing of education, but there is absolutely no case to be made for public production of education. We agree there should be public financing of F-22 fighters, but that doesn't mean a case can be made for setting up a government F-22 factory.

A school choice system, in the form of school vouchers or tuition tax credits, would go a long way toward providing the competition necessary to introduce accountability and quality into American education. What's wrong with parents having the right, along with the means, to enroll their children in schools of their choice?


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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