by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
School choice is a noble cause. In much of America, parents have little or no control over where their kids attend school. Local governments assign schools by ZIP code.
Having choice is better. Whether it’s vouchers, scholarships, charters, private schools or just having options among public schools, choice makes some schools better because educators have to compete for parents’ trust. Competition makes most everything better.
So we need competition among ideas, too.
There isn’t a lot of that in America’s schools.
In many places, every kid is taught:
–America is largely cruel and unfair, especially to minorities.
–Political leaders must manage most of life.
–Under capitalism, rich people prosper by exploiting the poor.
To give students another perspective, I started a charity that offers teachers free study guides, sample lessons and videos that introduce students to free market ideas: Stossel in the Classroom.
Most of the videos are versions of my reporting for Stossel TV, Fox and ABC News, specially edited for students.
In these videos, kids hear from people in parts of the world where markets are not as free and people suffer because of it. After watching, one high school student told us that he now understood that America is “the rare place where you can write the script of your own life.”
That idea is important to kids, who don’t always feel that they’re in control of their lives.