The Year of School Choice

We’re used to hearing bad news from the education front — poor test scores, falling literacy, slipping standards. But the new academic year brings a welcome change: school-choice programs have expanded significantly in recent months. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal has already dubbed 2011 “The Year of School Choice.”

As of this month, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have policies that support private-school choice. But public-school choice options are also continuing to grow. On top of that, there are millions of children participating in K–12 courses online. Meanwhile, homeschooling and charter schools are becoming more widespread.

There are many good public schools across this country, with dedicated teachers who deserve praise. Unfortunately, there are also many bad schools, especially in urban areas. When you consider the damage these institutions inflict — making it nearly impossible for students to learn and fulfill their potential — you realize it’s nothing short of a national crime. That’s why it’s so heartening to see the school-choice movement gaining ground.