IWF Senior Policy Analyst Inez Feltscher Stepman wrote a chapter in The Heritage Foundation’s book: The Critical Classroom.
Optimistic PowerPoint presentations by scholars and conference speakers notwithstanding, the school choice movement of the past 30 years is still a long way from transforming education in America.
For the approximately 539,000 students across the nation—mostly lower-income or with special needs—who received vouchers, tax-credit scholarships, or education savings accounts in 2019, these options have been more of a lifeline than a transformation of the traditional public school system. Even in Arizona and Florida, the country’s two leading school choice states in terms of student participation in different learning options, the number of students utilizing private education choice has yet to push past 5 percent of the population of school-age children. Student eligibility limitations and other barriers to expansion of these programs, even in the states furthest ahead in offering options to parents, have so far prevented such programs from making more than a modest impact on the education system at large.
Seen through the lens of transformational institutional change necessary at the country’s cultural precipice, the modest and limited school choice programs enacted across the country have thus far not proved much of a barrier to the Left’s long march through the education system. Leftist interest groups have maintained a monopoly on school operations and curricula and an ideological dominance over the instruction of the next generation of Americans.
So before the widespread parent revolt over the extended pandemic closures as well as lesson content that has characterized the past year and a half, what was and largely continues to be the state of American education?
Click HERE to read the full chapter (Chapter 17) by Inez.