By Davi Johnson
This week is National School Choice Week. President Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, is an adamant proponent of school choice and has brought significant attention to the topic. Many fear these ensuing waves; others are looking forward to the ride; and some may not be sure what to think about school choice. The following is for those who find themselves in the “unsure” category.
School choice is a broad term for allowing parents to choose how their child receives an education. That might be through public, charter, private or home schooling, etc. As you learn about school choice and decide where you stand, here are positive school choice results for your consideration.
- Test scores increase – Studies show that areas that have allowed more choice in schools have shown significant improvements to reading and math test scores.
- Parent Satisfaction Increases –While 84 percent of American children attend public school, only 36 percent of parents say that would be their top choice.
- Teacher Satisfaction – Teachers in public schools are required to comply with certain teaching standards, leaving some of them dissatisfied with the lack of freedom.
- Graduation rates – Voucher systems in D.C. and Milwaukee (vouchers are one method of allowing parents choice in schools) showed an 18 to 21 percent increase in graduation rates.
- Crime rates decrease – Children in Milwaukee that were a part of a voucher system in 2005 showed 11 years later a 79 percent reduction in felonies, a 93 percent reduction in drug offenses, and an 87 percent reduction in theft by 2016.
- Education spending decrease – Education reform could save state and federal government. Public school expenditures per student average 70 percent more than private school tuition costs.
These benefits are noteworthy on their own, but one of the most important outcomes of school choice is that children get an education suited for them – the kind that would allow them to succeed in their own unique way. Allowing parents to choose will help children meet their God-given potential.