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Morning Bell: The Fight for Equality in Education
Posted By Conn Carroll On March 3, 2008 @ 9:17 am In Education | Comments Disabled
The dirty little secret in education policy is that school choice already exists in the United States: it is just limited to affluent children. While millions of wealthy families send their children to private schools every year, families with less are often forced to send their children to schools they don’t trust (for example while only 12% of American school children attend private schools, 45% of Senators have sent their children to private schools ). But many middle class families find other ways to choose schools, like buying a house in a neighborhood in the right school district. Their children may end up going to public school, but in reality they have exercised control over their children’s education options in a way most families can not. But this method leaves families vulnerable to the vagaries of politics as witnessed in Virginia last week.
Last Thursday, The Washington Post detailed the story  of the Mannava family who bought a house in a neighborhood called Fox Mill Estates after carefully analyzing which northern Virginia school district was best for their children. But now, three years later, the Fairfax County School Board approved  new boundaries for several high schools essentially nullifying the choice the Mannava’s made for their children. Carly Mannava told the Post: “Do we move? Private School? I’m scared to death.”
More and more families are growing tired of government’s monopoly on education and are pushing their state governments to adopt policies that give them the freedom to educate their children as they see fit. The Heritage Foundation has a new website “School Choices: Choices in Education ” that helps parents track education reforms in all 50 states. Particularly encouraging are expanded school choice options  in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Vermont, and Washington, DC.
Studies show that families who participate in school choice programs are very  satisfied  with their children’s chosen schools. Furthermore, studies  also show  that the effects of increased competition from school choice programs produce positive performance gains in surrounding public schools as well.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/03/03/morning-bell-the-fight-for-equality-in-education/
URLs in this post:
 while only 12% of American school children attend private schools, 45% of Senators have sent their children to private schools: http://www.heritage.org/Press/ALAChart/alc_020.cfm
 detailed the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/27/AR2008022703671.html
 approved: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/28/AR2008022801700.html
 School Choices: Choices in Education: http://www.heritage.org/research/education/schoolchoice/?CFID=9521986&CFTOKEN=45191048
 expanded school choice options: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/bg2102.cfm
 very: http://hpi.georgetown.edu/scdp/files/PSV2.pdf
 satisfied: http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_38.htm
 studies: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/bg2102.cfm#_ftnref72
 also show: http://www.educationnext.org/20014/68.html
 hinted: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/washington/03fisa.html?adxnnl=1&ref=todayspaper&adxnnlx=1204543936-TJyALEm3pnuth2n03N7eWg
 New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/us/politics/03qhealth.html?ref=todayspaper
 mobilized tank units and fighter jets: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/world/americas/03farc.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin
 atom bomb: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/world/middleeast/03nuke.html?_r=1&ex=1362200400&en=cc4de38c00ef4db5&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin
 banned importation: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/5586203.html
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