EDUCATION: School Choice For All
Education provides the surest path out of poverty and into a rewarding, fulfilling, respected career that sustains oneself, one’s family, one’s community, and one’s nation. However, in too many cases the public education system, especially for minorities, is a disgrace. For example, only 7% of Detroit’s public school eighth graders are proficient in reading and only 4% are proficient in math. They could probably do better to stay home and play video games.
But, it is not the fault of the kids or their families because many innovative charter schools have shown that the same kids can do very well in their schools. Black and Hispanic children attending New York’s Success Academy, passed New York’s 2012 state math exam at rates far higher (98% and 97% respectively) than did white children ( 73%). Remarkably, the charter school Hispanic students greatly outscored New York State white students in English!
Federal education dollars should only be available to schools and school districts that allow choice for all students and parents. That means education debit cards that parents can use to send their children to any school of their choice, public or private, secular or non-secular, traditional or online. As a pediatrician, I trust parents a lot more than I do bureaucrats to decide what is best for their children and where they will get the best educations.