Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Faux Choice

Last summer I predicted that the No Child Left Behind Act would leave few choices for parents stuck with low-performing schools. In the Weekly Standard, Checker Finn discusses the bleak reality of public school choice:

In fact, No Child Left Behind authorizes the withholding only of a smidgen of administrative money from states and districts that do not fulfill its mandates. Nor do any rewards--save perhaps in Heaven--await those that conscientiously provide solid alternatives for their students.

What we're really seeing, once again, is how the public education establishment despises school choice, how little it will bestir itself to assist poor families to gain access to better schools, and the hardball tactics it deploys to keep lawmakers from adding more exit doors.

The lesson: Congress can paste whatever label it wishes on its shiny new statute, but when it entrusts a choice program to the same people who brought us 8,600 failed schools in the first place, it leaves millions of children behind.

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