Even the Russians Do It

DISSENTS

The staff editorial is utterly misguided. Complete school choice is the inevitable solution if we are serious about improving education for the next generation of Americans. The most effective way to improve schools is to force them to compete for students. School choice allows this to happen.

Dumping millions more of American tax dollars into the entrenched, bureaucratic money-pit that is the failing American public school would be to reward the very system that has failed us. In Chicago, 46 percent of the children of public school teachers and administrators attend private schools. The people who know the public school system best have no faith in its merit!

American families deserve the choice to attend private schools. If public schools can't compete, then we should leave them behind to rot. Our commitment should be to educate our children as effectively as possible, not to preserve the jobs of inefficient public school bureaucrats.

It is acutely ironic to realize that formerly communist Russia has already adopted full educational choice, effectively dismantling the failed monolith of bureaucratic public education. Beginning January 1, Russian parents will be completely reimbursed for sending their children to private schools, thereby allowing families to bypass the incompetent state-controlled educational factory. Monday's Wall Street Journal aptly notes that "a parent in Moscow will have more freedom to select a good school than most parents in America." This prospect is extremely embarassing.

The efforts of committed citizens like Polly Williams in Milwaukee prove that school choice works. And families in selected communities who have this choice are grateful. The potential of the Whittle Project and America 2000 make the concept even more exciting. American citizens must be given the choice to escape decrepit public schools in favor of superior learning environments. The United States simply cannot afford to fall any further behind in educating the next generation of Americans than it already has.