Progressives for School Choice

(Guest post by Greg Forster)

There was a time when Jack Jennings posed as a nonpartisan voice of apolitical wisdom. That was then! It was always a thin disguise, but the mask is really off now:

The Republicans’ talk about giving parents the right to choose is a politically expedient strategy … Just beneath the surface of the education rhetoric are political motivations to thwart integration, weaken the Democratic coalition, and cripple the teachers’ unions.

Over on RedefineED, Doug Tuthill responds with a really amazing history of progressive support for school choice. Go take a look! Even if you think you know this history, you’ll learn something.

Actually, Tuthill leaves two major figures off his list. Thomas Paine proposed school vouchers for England, justified as a way to advance the well being of the poor, in the appendix to the second edition of The Rights of Man. And J.S. Mill supported vouchers as a blow against socially conservative cultural dominance, writing that “A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another.”

(via Bill Evers)

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