January 31, 2013

School Choice Week 2013: There should be a "road of opportunity" for every kid

By Jonathan Wood Attorney

The New York Times has a story about the closing of the private primary school that Justice Sotomayor attended as a child.  The Justice was quoted in the story, making an eloquent case for school choice.

You know how important those eight years were?  It’s symbolic of what it means for all our families, like my mother, who were dirt-poor.  She watched what happened to my cousins in public school and worried if we went there, we might not get out.  So she scrimped and saved.  It was a road of opportunity for kids with no other alternative.

Justice Sotomayor is not the only current Justice that had the good fortune to attend a quality private school, despite poverty.  In My Grandfather’s Son, Justice Thomas wrote:

The nuns [at the private school] were far more demanding than the teachers at [the public school].  They expected our full attention and made sure they got it, dispensing corporal punishment whenever they saw fit.  Classes were large—around forty students—but orderly…. The sisters also taught us that God made all men equal, that blacks were inherently equal to whites, and that segregation was morally wrong [at a time when the public schools were segregated, in defiance of Brown].

The goal of the school choice movement is to enable every child to have the same opportunity for a quality education that Justices Sotomayor and Thomas were fortunate to receive.

H/T Rick Garnett at Prawfsblawg.

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