Inner city kids suffer the most when there is no School Choice: Charter Series pt 2

(Milton Friedman shows in this 9 minute video below how inner city parents have lost their freedom to choose concerning schools and they have suffered because of it)

The Arkansas Times has always been on the warpath when the subject of school choice comes up. Paul Hewitt in the Ark Times April 22, 2010 wrote:

In Arkansas we call privately operated charter schools “open enrollment schools.” In reality, are these schools truly open enrollment? Does every child have an equal opportunity to enroll? The first ingredient is that the child must have a parent who truly cares and monitors his or her education. 

Liberals condemn Charter and Voucher programs, but it seems it is undeniable that parents  are a key part of the success of schools. The conservative Milton Friedman went even further when he noted that  when parents lose control over the school then the education suffers:

To go back to the beginning, it all started with the fine idea that every child should have a chance to learn his three R’s. Sometimes in June when it gets hot, the kids come out in the yard to do their lessons, all 15 of them, ages 5 to 13, along with their teacher. This is the last one-room schoolhouse still operating in the state of Vermont. That is the way it used to be. Parental control, parents choosing the teacher, parents monitoring the schooling, parents even getting together and chipping in to paint the schoolhouse as they did here just a few weeks ago. Parental concern is still here as much in the slums of the big cities as in Bucolic, Vermont. But control by parents over the schooling of their children is today the exception, not the rule.

Increasingly, schools have come under the control of centralized administration, professional educators deciding what shall be taught, who shall do the teaching, and even what children shall go to what school. The people who lose most from this system are the poor and the disadvantaged in the large cities. They are simply stuck. They have no alternative.

Of course, if you are well off you do have a choice. You can send your child to a private school or you can move to an area where the public schools are excellent, as the parents of many of these students have done. These students are graduating from Weston High School in one of Boston’s wealthier suburbs. Their parents pay taxes instead of tuition and they certainly get better value for their money than do the parents in Hyde Park. That is partly because they have kept a good deal of control over the local schools, and in the process, they have managed to retain many of the virtues of the one-room schoolhouse.


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