The power of competition is on display in Detroit, where parents have left the Detroit school system for other options. That has forced the Detroit Public School System to do something public systems don’t want to do — compete for parents and students and be judged on their results.

The competition for students has heated up in the past decade with Detroit parents enrolling in suburban districts that offer school choice programs while more charter schools offer more options.
The DPS general “I’m In” advertising campaign is taking a backseat to a new strategy of marketing each individual school to neighbors and parents. Principals, teachers, parents and students are walking door-to-door citywide to talk up their schools. If DPS can’t attract or retain 5,000 kids this fall to maintain enrollment at about 50,000 students, the schools will suffer teacher layoffs midyear.
Here in North Carolina, state legislators are putting parents first, moving to expand parental options. Thanks to these forward-thinking lawmakers, parents of low-income kids and kids with special needs can now access vouchers that allow them to choose a school that best meets of the unique needs of their kids. Unfortunately, some high-placed education officials put the system above individual children.