Michael McShane of the Show-Me Institute shares with National Review Online readers a response to right-of-center concerns against school choice.

[W]hen I moved back to America’s heartland and traveled a bit more off the beaten path, I encountered a new argument that might be more threatening to the spread of school choice than anything the AFT’s Randi Weingarten or the NEA’s Lily Eskelsen Garcia can throw at it. It is the fear that by accepting government dollars, private schools — particularly private religious schools — are opening themselves to a government takeover. “With shekels come shackles” is how a man in Michigan put it to me. …

… This is not an entirely unwarranted concern. For decades, private and religious schools have been able to coexist peaceably with American public schools. But Obamacare’s contraception mandate has increased government’s attempted influence on the inner workings of religious organizations. And if the Little Sisters of the Poor aren’t safe in America, who’s to say a school will be?

The school-choice movement itself has fed into these fears as well. In Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Indiana, schools that participate in their states’ voucher programs must administer the same tests (aligned to the Common Core in Wisconsin and Louisiana, no less) that students in traditional public schools take, and are held accountable for the results. Schools that deviate from the state’s curriculum and thus score lower on the state’s tests could be barred from accepting voucher students. While this is not a direct assault on the religious character of a school, it is a move (even if inadvertent) to shape what schools can and cannot teach students. Some school leaders see that as the start down a slippery slope to government takeover.

So what can we do?

McShane offers three ideas: Educate private-school leaders about the costs and benefits of participating in school-choice programs, change how testing is used in school-choice programs, and work better to guard the autonomy of schools.