December 11 2012

Want to Grow the Middle Class? Expand Education Options for All

Vicki E. Alger

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) recently spoke at the Jack Kemp Foundation’s Leadership Award Dinner (C-SPAN video here). As RedefinED reports, Sen. Rubio emphasized that expanding education options is a key to growing the American middle class:

More charter schools and more career and technical academies are among the changes necessary to ensure that people have the skills needed for the middle-class jobs of the future. …

“The bottom line is we are trying to prepare 21st century students using a 20th century education model,” Rubio said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “Now is the time to be creative, innovative and daring in reforming the way we provide our people the skills they need to make it to the middle class.” …

Rubio’s points also dovetail with arguments long made by choice groups such as the Florida-based Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options. Minority voters are increasingly warming to vouchers, tax credit scholarships and other forms of expanded school choice, and polls suggest they may likewise warm to politicians who embrace such options.

A one-size-fits-all schooling system won’t work for a country or economy as diverse as ours. Education options for all—directed by parental choice, not politicians’ preferences—is the best policy path to pursue.

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