Public school scores may be static but where government schools are privatized, progress is actually being made. “In Arizona, where I live, there are 500 charter schools,” Matthew Ladner of the Foundation for Excellence in Education said at the Heritage Foundation on January 26, 2012. “Nine out of ten of the top-performing high schools in Phoenix are charter schools.”
“Twelve percent of students in Arizona go to charter schools.” Ladner previously worked at the Goldwater Institute.
Arizona also has Education Savings Accounts (ESA) for special needs kids, Ladner noted. The Grand Canyon state is the only state to offer such ESAs, Malcolm Glenn of the Alliance for School Choice pointed out in another meeting at the Fordham Institute that afternoon. Nevertheless, “almost half of the private school choice programs in the U. S. are for special needs kids,” Glenn avers.
In Milwaukee, while the cost per pupil in public schools is almost $13,000, students on vouchers receive an education in private institutions for about half that amount. Indeed, private schools educate children for about “$10,000 less per child than public schools,” Glenn claims. Glenn serves as National Director of Communications for both the American Federation of Children and the Alliance for School Choice.
Ladner is co-author of a report published by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—ALEC Report Card on American Education. The Alliance for School Choice has compiled a yearbook called The Year of School Choice, which you can download here.
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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