Private-school choice may not be the panacea
that John Chubb and Terry Moe once claimed but that’s no reason to write it off
as a means of improving America’s flailing K-12 system, explains Jay Greene in
this new broadside. As Greene asserts, “miracles shouldn’t be the standard by
which educational programs are judged.” This “panacea canard” is the first of
eight common arguments against school choice that he refutes in this fifty-one
page mini-book. He covers some arguments widely voiced in anti-choice circles
(the research doesn’t show positive effects, choice leads to segregation, etc.)
and other, less prominent rhetoric (choice distracts from other reform
initiatives like quality standards; choice undermines civic values).
Those who follow Greene’s blog won’t find tons here that’s new, but it does
provide an all-in-one treatise for the private-choice proponent. Be aware,
though, that Greene ignores a few pertinent arguments. For example, in a time
of fiscal belt-tightening, what’s
the rationale for voucher (and similar) programs that offer public dollars
to parents already enrolling their children in private schools?