Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Agreeing with Jesse Jackson Jr.:competion in school systems

Quick someone check to see if hell is freezing over! I am agreeing with Liberal U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.! (D) Illinois.
At an event held by a new group, Democrats for Education Reform, Jackson discussed the “alarming drop out rates” and the dangers of a “monopoly” with failing schools.

“We must explore options,” he said. “Every option for every American child so that every child might have the high-quality education they deserve in their lifetime…We need more competition in the system.”

This is good news for education reform and school choice. The democrats have always bowed down before the National Education Association. They have always made the claim that government schools were great, but failing because the lack of money. Now it looks like some democrats are starting to come around.

It should be no surprise that black representatives like Jackson are leading the charge. On average, black Americans support the idea of school choice, even when the NAACP does not.

A public opinion poll from 2002, conducted by the Joint Center for Political Economical studies in DC showed 57 percent of blacks support school choice as a whole. If they had children that number jumps to 67 percent and 70 percent of blacks ages 25-35 are school choice supporters.

If the NAACP is correct in there stance that school choice does not benefit black children, then why do black parents continue to participate and put their names on waiting lists for school choice programs.

There is no doubt parents are looking for a way out of failing inner-city schools. The numbers are staggering everywhere it has been offered.

In Milwaukee, the school choice program grew from 341 students in l990-91 to a mandated cap of more than 15,000 in 2005-06. The Cleveland, Ohio scholarship program grew from 1,994 students in l996-97 to more than 6,000 in 2002-2003. In l999, the private New York City based Children's Scholarship Fund endorsed by former Congressman Rev. Floyd Flake received 1.25 million applicants for only 40,000 scholarships to attend private schools.

Perhaps the NAACP should start paying attention to the community they supposedly represent and not the special interest groups like the NEA where they get their money.

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