Monday, February 8, 2010

Parents the key to making school choice happen

Ultimately, parents will provide the kind of grassroots pressure needed to bring school choice to Kentucky.

Take, for example, the latest research indicating higher -- much-higher -- graduation rates among students in Milwaukee's school-choice program.

The Wall Street Journal took note:

A report released last week by School Choice Wisconsin, an advocacy group, finds that between 2003 and 2008 students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program had a significantly higher graduation rate than students in Milwaukee Public Schools.

"Had MPS graduation rates equalled those for MPCP students in the classes of 2003 through 2008, the number of MPS graduates would have been about 18 percent higher," writes John Robert Warren of the University of Minnesota. "That higher rate would have resulted in 3,352 more MPS graduates during the 2003-2008 years."

The WSJ editorial concludes with this statement about the successful Milwaukee school-choice program: The Milwaukee program has survived for 20 years despite ferocious political opposition, and it would have died long ago if parents didn't believe their children were better off for it.

There's good reason to believe that the more Kentucky parents find out about how school choice works in other places, the more effective they will be in demanding Kentucky legislators follow suit.

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