The biggest government failures have not been limited to its market interventions; in fact, if you want to see the most impactful failure of government simply go to your local public school.
It has long been known that there is a growing income gap in the U.S., and it has long been argued that your destiny is determined by where you grew up. While the causes are up for debate, the trends are undeniable.
There is however one correlating element that is virtually unmistakable in the poverty stricken regions of the U.S., the education is beyond poor. The most overlooked part of this failure is that unlike the minor inconvenience when the postal service misplaces your mail, the displacement of a child has profound implications for their neighborhood and all of society.
Studies suggest that the difference between a good teacher and a bad teacher can displace students from their peers by as much as two years. Compounded throughout their school careers, it is no wonder that we have high school graduates that lack some of the basic skills needed to obtain admission to college, and worse we have a dropout rates that continue to plague our public school system.
There have been various solutions offered, but only one addresses the dismal futures the government has ordained for the children of low income neighborhoods. That solution is school choice.
School choice allows parents to move their children away from bad neighborhood schools into performing schools, regardless of their race, creed or income. Along with a more formidable education, these children are removed from the dreadful temptations and peer pressure associated with the culture of crime instilled in many of these communities.
Criticism of this system comes from various angles, but almost all of the criticisms stem from the interests of the adults rather than the children. If we are to strive to be a competitive nation, we should now say that a child’s future isn’t determined by their zip code. The biggest beneficiaries of such a system are the poor, but it’s important to note that school choice isn’t limited based on your income.
If you don’t want your child going to a crime ridden school or a school with a failing record, then it should be no right of yours to force that upon someone else. Unfortunately, under our current system that is exactly the case.
School choice isn’t an end-all solution. The schools that are currently failing could be helped by various other educational reforms, such as merit pay and the encouragements of alternative learning methods to name a few.
These ideas aren’t new. This is not an experiment. This is the future of our children and the future of America. We won’t be around forever, and it is our obligation as parents, teachers, and citizens to lead our children to a better future though a better education. Let’s give our children the education they deserve instead of the one they were dealt.