As the election draws near, the issue of education reform gains greater significance to citizens across the country. The truth is that both candidates for president have vastly different approaches to the economic challenges facing America over the next four years—especially on the issue of education reform.
The CSE Position:
CSE’s president, Paul Beckner stated: “The reality is that many of our public schools are failing to provide the educational opportunity all of America’s children need to be able to compete in the global economy. Currently, schools get students and funding regardless of how well they perform. Low expectations and the public school monopoly have failed many of our children. Sadly, the education bureaucracy and teachers unions often try to keep parents from fully accessing different educational opportunities.”
“Many people choose to live where their children can get a better education. Others simply place their children in private schools. These parents are practicing school choice. But all parents should have the power and opportunity to choose their child’s school—regardless of where they live or what they earn. Policies such as vouchers and school choice will increase competition, innovation and diversity in the education system, improving education for all children and best preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century. On the other hand, simply throwing more money at the problem is not the solution. In fact, the District of Columbia has one of the highest per pupil spending rates, yet D.C. schools rank among the worst performing in the nation,” continued Beckner.
Where the Candidates Stand:
Becker noted that: “Texas Gov. George W. Bush believes that competition (just as it has done in virtually every other sector of America’s economy) increases the quality of service while lowering the overall cost. In addition to additional accountability measures and more flexibility for the states, Bush’s plan would give better educational opportunities to those who need it most: the parents with children in our nation’s worst performing schools. We have seen this concept work wherever it has been tried: in Milwaukee, in Cleveland, in New York, and in Florida.”
“Meanwhile”, continued Beckner, “Vice President Gore believes that our educational system will respond to the simple solution of throwing more of taxpayers money at it. Gore’s accountability measures are more sporadic, and there are no options for parents whose children are stuck in poorly performing schools. Unfortunately, Gore remains beholden to the “system” and to powerful teachers unions, instead of to our children, and puts the current education monopoly before our children’s futures.”