Private Schools Give Parents a Choice

Published July 4, 2010

The June 22 article “Parents pay top dollar for extras” starts to uncover the potential of school choice. Trying to unravel the mysterious pull of Tennessee private schools, the article quotes a private school parent who says, “Do we feel comfortable, and is it right for our child?” This is the question a monopolistic public education system will not allow parents to ask: “Is this right for my child?”

In the article we are introduced to schools that work because they hold classes outdoors and offer extra recess; others work because kids are given personal computers and technology; and still others work because they offer more focused curricula. There is no magic bullet when it comes to education, and being humble enough to understand that is the first step our elected officials must take.

We do not all think the same, look the same or like the same things. Above all, we do not all learn in the same way. Advocates of school choice understand this. While we as a nation want to know the “one right path” to learning for every child, we cannot, because no such path exists. We must ask who knows these children best, and then relinquish the decision-making power to them. Give Tennessee parents a choice.

Marc Oestreich

Education legislative specialist

The Heartland Institute

This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Knoxville News Sentinel