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Choice Reconsidered

Education Next

May 31, 2023

Discussions of school choice frequently fall into familiar morality plays: Either you’re for empowering parents or supporting public education. The resulting debate manages to miss much of what matters. It ignores that all kinds of choices are hard-wired into American public education. It skips past the fact that the affluent already choose schools when purchasing homes, so the debate is really about the options available to everyone else.

Families want more options, but that fact doesn’t mean they dislike their local schools (much less, that they’re eager to flee them). In 2022, for instance, more than three-quarters of parents said that they were satisfied with their child’s experience in a public district school even as more than seven in ten endorsed education savings accounts, school vouchers, and charter schools. In short, parents overwhelmingly like both their child’s public school and school choice policies. They don’t see a tension here.

Continue reading at Education Next.