It’s not every day you will see a governmental body, in this case a school board, create competition for itself. But that’s precisely what the Douglas County, Colorado school board did.
It created a unique, if not unprecedented, voucher program, allowing tax dollars to follow Douglas County students to the school of their choice.
Every single school system in America should adopt this model. Sadly, parents who need school choice the most tend to live in troubled urban school districts that fight to keep children trapped within geographic boundaries.
But in Douglas County, leaders understand students have a right to the education of their choice, even if it is not within the public system.
John Carson, president of the school board, said recently at a National School Choice Week event celebrating the move: “We all realize that we’ve made two big mistakes in public education. There’s no choice – or limited choice – there’s not enough competition, and we’ve ceded so much of our children’s education to special interest groups. And that needs to end.”
Bravo. If only we had more governmental leaders like Carson, just imagine the improved impression that Americans would have of public education today.
See EAGtv’s coverage of the program here.
Dr. Elizabeth Carson, the district superintendentm said, “We know when we match students to opportunities to learn that are most appropriate for their strengths and interests, we know that they’re going to be more successful.
” And when we try to do this sort of batch processing model where we take all of these children according to their date of birth and put them through a process – a one-size-fits-all process – we know there are going to be fewer successes. We want to make sure that parents have the ultimate choice in making sure that their child is matched with their learning environment.”
Parents and community leaders should demand that every single school district follow in the footsteps of Douglas County and be willing to let kids off the assembly line so they can find the school that best fits their needs.