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On choice, Hood urges rational debate while N&O editors rage

When editorial boards write nonsense like this

In other words, the public school system that Republicans so gleefully attack changed North Carolina for the better and gave millions of North Carolina children some opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise. Republicans who want to destroy that system seem bent on that mission just for political sport, without any thought as to the consequences of weakening public education. Their sight is short; their attitude is disgraceful. And stupid.

And it’s not supported by the people. Take note, Republicans: 82 percent is a substantial majority. And it’s one you can’t reduce with shenanigans like partisan redistricting and Voter ID laws. In this arena, the people will speak and you cannot stop them.  (Editorial Board, News & Observer, July 25, 2017)

…we need correctives like this:

But again, you don’t have to agree with my prediction to recognize that, even under a scenario in which the school-choice share rises by half over 10 years, the vast majority of North Carolina children would still attend district-run public schools. Such schools wouldn’t be defunded or closed down. And because the state’s choice programs are targeted at disabled and lower-income kids, the enrollment changes wouldn’t represent some kind of neo-segregationist conspiracy.

In virtually every other sector, state funding and local or private providers go together without any major controversy. It would be exceedingly odd if K-12 education were so different that standard rules of human behavior didn’t apply. People are better off when they have choices. Parents know more about their children’s individual needs than anyone else can know. Competition improves performance.

Let’s calm down and discuss this rationally.  (John Hood, Carolina Journal, July 25, 2017)

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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