How About School Choice for Decatur, Georgia?


The AP reports:

A Georgia county school district lost its accreditation Thursday, an unusual move blamed in part on what has been called a "dysfunctional" school board.

Clayton County Commissioner Eldrin Bell confirmed the loss of accreditation shortly before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools announced it.

The association issued a scathing report in February calling Clayton County's school board "dysfunctional" and "fatally flawed." It gave the district until Sept. 1 to overhaul the system.

A team from the association visited last week to review whether the 50,000-student school district had done enough to keep its accreditation and decided it had not.

Meanwhile, Gov. Sonny Perdue issued an executive order Thursday ousting four board members after a judge recommended removing them for violating Georgia's open meetings laws and ethics code.

Losing accreditation means students who graduate from the suburban Atlanta district won't be eligible for some scholarships or admission to many colleges. It also could drive down property values in the county and hurt economic development, community leaders have said.

More here.

This is as good an argument for school choice as can be made. Not because private schools or charter schools or…voluntary schools never fail but precisely because they do. When any institution has to survive by attracting customers or money or whatever, they don't always succeed but their failure is also not catastrophic.

How many of the 50,000 students in that district would have still been there at the bitter end given the option to go elsewhere? If they'd been given a voucher good for part or all of the cost that useless board was spending on them? And would the schools in the system have been quicker to reform and improve if they knew they'd lose their funding (which they surely will not)?  

reason on education here.