School choice across the world

January 31, 2014 | By CHRISTINA MARTIN

Nowhere is the value of school choice more evident than when parents make huge sacrifices to get their children into a good school.  This may involve paying for private school tuition or home school curriculum, driving the extra miles (literally), wading through bureaucratic inter- or intra-district transfer policies for public schools, or getting on waiting lists for popular charter schools. These sacrifices are not unique to upper-income American families.  The Beautiful Tree, authored by James Tooley, describes about how many of the world’s poor are educating their children in low-cost private schools.  The author’s personal experience and data from his extensive research, demonstrate that parental love and the market are far more effective at providing a good education across the world than you probably realize.  Low-cost private schools in countries like Ghana and India are outperforming free government schools, because the principles have to answer directly to parents.  Parents want a good education for their kids and they want to know that their investment in their children’s education will pay off. That’s why school choice works.