School choice consensus


According to the excellent Cato Institute blog, school choice is becoming a politically non-partisan issue in the US. I am not sure this is yet the case, but it definitely should be. It is certainly looking to be true over here – shown by the fact that the David Cameron's Conservative opposition are making school choice one the central pillars of their bid to win the next election. And it is hard to see him losing many votes on the issue.

Really, it should be no surprise that offering school choice is a non-partisan issue. The education of one’s children is one of the most crucial decisions a parent can make for their child. School choice means that the parent who believes in a classical school education, the parent who believes in more modern methods, and the parent who believes in home schooling are all on the same side of the issue. School choice requires competition between schools, of course, a fact that does not escapes many politicians, journalists and parents. But people seem to realize that more schools and more competition is a very good thing.

In Australia, the Labor leader Kevin Rudd is getting behind a few modest reforms that the previous Liberal-led John Howard government failed to get past the Labor state governments and teachers unions. We have seen in this country how Labour’s policy of establishing city academies has allowed those schools to innovate and tailor tuition to their pupils' needs. The growing demand from parents to send their children to them is the key indication of success.

At the ASI we have been at the forefront of this much needed revolution (see our education section). Next task – healthcare?