Vouchers Make The World Safe For Charter Schools

I remember reading that Malcolm X, being the radical that he was, increased the support for Martin Luther King Jr.  In a world without a Malcolm X, MLK would have been the radical one. But with Malcolm X in the picture, it pushes people to compromise on a more ‘moderate’ person – and MLK fit right in.

Today, vouchers do the same for charter schools. Because vouchers are considered the ‘radical’ alternative, they make charter schools look moderate.

For example, in a debate over vouchers in the Chicago Tribune, the voucher opponent – after giving what I believe is the real reason many oppose vouchers, religious intolerance – concludes with:

Is there a compromise approach? Sure. Let’s continue to expand charter school programs and try out the most innovative ideas from private schools. But let’s not give up on public education.

In a world with vouchers as an alternative, charter schools seem much more reasonable. Greg Forster has more here.

2 Responses to “Vouchers Make The World Safe For Charter Schools”


  • Spanglish Gringo

    HP – been a long time… You been tracking the “public school choice” process up here in LA? Today’s LABOE decision was a pretty big one. Would love to hear your thoughts…

  • Hey SG,

    It has! No, I haven’t been tracking it as closely as I should. But I did see today’s ruling. From the little that I’ve read I have mixed thoughts.

    On the positives, it looks like the teachers union doesn’t have the grip on LA unified schools that it used to. It seems like every year now they are losing more and more schools to charter schools. Todays decision is no exception.

    Also, I’m not sure whether giving the teachers control is going to do much good – it might even make the problem worse. On the one hand, you’d think teachers would have a greater incentive to improve the quality of education for students. But teachers also have a vested interest of their own – a vested interest that can run contrary to quality education.

    So I don’t expect the teacher run schools to be all that much different than the status quo. But that just postpones the inevitable. Charter schools are continuing their march forward and the more they succeed the greater pressure there is on the public schools to improve (finally, competition!).

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