Politics favor charter schools, regardless of whether evidence shows higher test scores, writes Kevin Kosar, author of Failing Grades: The Federal Politics of Education Standards, on This Week in Education. Kosar sees the start of a shift in power from the entrenched few to the dissatisfied many. Charter advocates “have tapped into deeply held American values by promoting charter schools as ‘independent’ and ‘diverse’,” he writes.
Charter school proponents have also been able to hitch the notion of choice to equality. “The rich,” they note, “already have school choice. Why not the poor too?”
The opponents of charter schools, meanwhile, have stumbled when taking values positions. They appeal to American’s sense of nostalgia by recalling the glorious tradition of government schools. Then, to the confusion of listeners, they issue pleas for more money and time to improve the schools.
Americans think they should have a choice.