It is always heartening to have a liberal columnist join the chorus of supporters for school choice. Clarence Page, a columnist for the Chicago Times, wrote an article entitled “Give Parents a Chance to Choose Their Schools.” He describes an innovative program that brought at risk boys from Baltimore to Kenya Africa to attend the Baraka school, which offered intensive training and education. The success of this program led him to wonder why parents don’t have more choices at home:
“And there’s another, more controversial lesson the Baraka story offers: a powerful argument for more school choice, even if that means vouchers for private schools. The earnest parents in this movie, mostly moms and grandparents, fighting hard to get their kids a better chance at life, illustrate why polls show growing support for private school vouchers among African-American parents, as long as they do not take money from the public schools.”
It is still bizarre to me that many folks, apparently include Page, cling to the idea that we must keep all money dedicated to children’s education within the government-run public school bureaucracy. Support public school choice is certainly a step in the right direction, but I can’t understand the complete faith that government will always put the money to its best use and that private entities have no role to play in educating children.