Parents are the best guarantee

Published May 31, 2016

The “accountability” demand by school voucher foes ought to be called what it really is: a demand for government regulation of private schools. If private schools admitting voucher students must adhere to exactly the same standards and assessments as the public schools, then they will forfeit their independence and parents will lose their chance at exercising a real choice. Critics like your guest columnists, David R. Colburn and Brian Dassler, fail to give parents credit for being savvy consumers of education. Parents know when schools are safe or unsafe, when their children are happy or the victims of bullying, and when evidence of sound instruction in subjects like U.S. history is showing up in homework or not. It is parents to whom private schools must be accountable. If parents are dissatisfied, they can withdraw their children and put them in a different school. That is a more effective form of accountability than extending mindless bureaucratic oversight to the private sector. Robert Holland, senior fellow, Heartland Institute, Chicago