What We Saw at National School Choice Week's Kickoff in New Orleans


"I think we ought to give our children the best we possibly can and I think we're moving in that direction," says renowned political operative James Carville. "Yes, I'm very excited about it."

Reason caught up with the Louisiana native at the New Orleans kickoff event for National School Choice Week (NSCW), which runs from January 22-28 and features hundreds of events around the country designed to increase support for allowing parents to pick what schools their children attend. The Big Easy was the ideal location for the event as all children attend schools of choice in New Orleans, a radical—and so far incredibly sucessful—response to decades of failed approaches and the devasation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

Carville emceed an event that also featured performers such as The Temptations, Trombone Shorty, and Ellis Marsalis along with speakers such as MSNBC's Michelle Bernard, former Arizona education head Lisa Graham Keegan, and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

"National School Choice Week gives us an unprecedented opportunity to shine an effective spotlight on the need for enhanced educational options for parents," said Andrew Campanella, Vice President of Public Affairs for National School Choice Week.

Reason on education.

About 5 minutes. Produced by Sharif Matar and Tracy Oppenheimer.

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  1. James Carville looks like a giant bug. I’m tempted to call him Zorak.

    1. Didn’t he play Niska in Firefly?

      1. Nice!

  2. boorring

    don’t you guys know rand paul is detained by airport cops in nashville right now??!?!?

  3. Carville has to know how many union goons he’s pissing off. Did he and Matalin just have (the horror) kids? Self-interest is the only reason I can think of as to why he’d promote school choice.

    1. I’m sure he’s never going to admit the destructive nature of teacher unions, but to Carville’s credit, I never thought of him as fitting the modern Team Blue mold.

  4. School choice: You get your choice of which government indoctrination center you must send your children to.

  5. How anyone can argue to be ‘for’ kids and against general tax credits for education is beyond me.

    1. Why should you get tax credits for making a personal lifestyle choice to have children?

      Tax credits = public subsidy

      Where is the accountability for the money you get to keep in your pocket that those without young children at home do not? If you do a poor job of raising your kids, and they do not turn out to be productive adults who contribute to the economy and live at peace with their neighbors, the tax credit investment has been wasted.

      Do you know what is really “for” kids? Their parents. Let the people who chose to have them pay for their education.

      1. Public education is never going away. You can stand on the corner screaming *smash the state*, or you can do something to change the fact that 1% of public school kids in Harlem will make it into college.

        1. or you can do something to change the fact that 1% of public school kids in Harlem will make it into college.

          To do that, I’d have to care. But I don’t. It does not affect me one bit that there are kids on the other side of the country who choose to throw away a free education, complete with extensive social service support, counselors, free lunches, free breakfasts, special schools for teen babymommas, general namby-pamby coddling and built-in, pre-written, pre-signed, race-based excuses for failure.

          No other student demographic has more college scholarship money available to it, or more special, preferential treatment in the form of college admissions quotas than black students. Black kids who want to go to college get to go to college. Black kids who don’t, don’t.

          People fought and died so that these Harlem kids could attend desegregated schools. Nine kids in Arkansas braved murderous mobs as they were escorted to class by the 101st Airborne Division, so that these little punkass brats in Harlem can sit there today in detention, popping their gum, screwing around on their cell phones, waiting to see a school counselor so they can complain about how their biatch of a teacher failed them for not showing up to class for the last six weeks.

          The world is full of kids who value and take full advantage of whatever educational opportunities they have, regardless of how meager those opportunities are. There’s no need to fuss and cluck over the ones who don’t.

          We’re paying for public education whether it’s valued and used or not. I tend to think it’d be valued a whole helluva lot more if the parents had to pay for it.

      2. stealing less != subsidy

        1. Stealing more from some to pay for lifestyle choices of others who get to pay less = subsidy.

  6. I’m with AssCracker, a tax cut isn’t a subsidy; taking less isn’t the same as giving.

  7. James Carville is a complete moron, whatever his position is on school choice will not change that fact. The guy is a paid media hack. A professional “spin” master.

  8. red performers such as The Temptations, Trombone Shorty, and Ellis Marsalis along with

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