The consequences of our nation's continued educational mediocrity must be immediately addressed. Education determines not just how students will succeed, but also which nation's will thrive in a world united in pursuit of freedom in enterprise. The continued growth and prosperity of the United States is dependent on a better educated citizenry.
One way to encourage excellence in education is by encouraging parental choice. The concept of choice draws its fundamental strength from the principle at the very heart of the democratic idea. Every American adult has the right to vote, the right to decide where to work, and where to live. It is time for all parents to be free to choose the schools that their children attend. The concept of school choice would effectively: force schools to improve their performance as a result of stiffer competition; increase parental involvement in the educational process; and ultimately improve academic achievement by students. School choice would also help low-income parents escape schools that are riddled with drug pushers and violence -thereby forcing these schools to clean up their act. Furthermore, it can empower ordinary Americans and eliminate much of the bureaucracy that hinders progress in American schools.
By providing tuition grants, all parents would be able to afford a wide array of schools that serve the public and are accountable to public authority, regardless of who runs them. The power of choice is the parent's leverage both to change schools and to make change in the schools. Those who will benefit most from new choice policies will be those who now have no alternatives. With choice they can find a better school for their children or use that leverage to improve the school their children now attend.
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