January 31, 2014

School choice across the world

By Christina M. Martin Attorney

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.


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