School Choice

"School Choice Makes Things Much Better for Everyone"[*]

[*] Except the educational establishment's status quo.


The good folks at Choice Media cover education and school news from a free-market, pro-choice angle. The group's website is always full of excellent and varied content on everything from the latest zero-tolerance outrages to big developments in funding and pedagogy. Choice Media also maintains lively Instagram and Twitter feeds at which they ask folks to explain a "story of the day." Here's my contribution, shot on my phone at Reason's DC offices. Take a look.

Last week was National School Choice Week, an annual event for which Reason is a media sponsor. Go here to catch up on our coverage.

NEXT: Talking Gorsuch, DeVos, and Super Bowl Commercials on Tonight's Kennedy

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Time to trim those nose hairs, grandpa.

    Please don’t do this again. Thank you.

    -The Entire World.

    1. Crusty with his 4K HD porn monitor. 😉

  2. Wait, a Libertarian Article From Reason? And No Mention of Trump?

    / Golf Clap

    1. He was taking a dump on his Porta Potty, and had to expend a few minutes.

    1. I kept waiting for the punchline. I was glad when it came. She’s certainly easy the eyes aa well.

      1. Agreed, but I wish she’d said “Sorry snowflake…” just before delivering it.

    2. Crimeny, get to the point. I could only make it about two minutes in before I got bored.

    3. This pretty gal doesn’t do it for me.

      Oh that was my two cents? fiiine.

  3. I don’t care about school choice when it comes to the Department of Education. All I want from the nominee is how he or she proposes to dismantle/demolish/obliterate this monstrous gift that Jimmy Carter gave to the teachers unions.

    If ever there was a federal department that was not needed the DOEd is it.

    What purpose does it serve?

    Funding? If the individual states cannot raise enough money for education, hoe can the Feds help? It’s not like there is any state so poor it doesn’t have enough money for schools and it’s not like the federal government actually transfers money from rich to poor states (NY and CA are as heavily into that trough an NM an MS are).

    So, what’s the point?

    Standards? Sorry, c’m’on, do you really think that there are actually state education officials anywhere who are so malicious that they want the children in their state to get a bad education?

    So in the end I don’t care. But, I suppose it’s like so many other things, I’m not allowed to “not care”, I have to “care”.

    But in the end, I can’t. As long as I think that the Federal Department of Education should simply cease to exist (and I can’t see anything the Donald is doing in that direction), I simply have no more fucks to give.



      1. “What known White Nationalist Frederic Bastiat doesn’t want you to know about Betsy DeVos.”

        1. “How Betsy DeVos is Literally Eva Braun”

        2. “15 Unflattering photographs of Betsy Davis. #4 Will make you toss your cookies”

              1. Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education

          1. She’s got Betsy Davis eyes.

    2. It’s also a pretty clear violation of the 10th amendment. That’s this one:
      “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      1. How quaint.

        1. Abe Lincoln put that one to rest a long time ago.

    3. If the individual states cannot raise enough money for education, how can the Feds help?

      Exactly. It’s because if 100% of the school’s funding came from states/localities, e.g. property tax would spike noticeably and people would start to question why, exactly, schools cost as much as they do.

      If you reroute funding through the federal government, via corporate/payroll/income taxes, the destination of the funds is obfuscated. The federal budget is basically just one big, fungible money pot. To the average taxpayer, their income tax goes to “Well, who knows? The military, mostly, I guess…”

      It lowers accountability for funding considerably when money is laundered through the federal government.

      1. This. It is a clever way to funnel money to friends/special interests with little to no accountability.

      2. The federal government’s share is 8.3 percent.

        End it.…..index.html

        1. On a per-pupil basis and adjusted for inflation, public school funding increased: 24 percent from 1991-92 through 2001-02 (the last year for which such data are available); 19 percent from 1996-97 through 2001-02; and 10 percent from 1998-99 through 2001-02.

          Assuming that’s inflation-adjusted, that’s absolutely enormous. And that was practically forever ago. Who know’s what we’re at now.

    4. I agree I want it abolished, but even if it were I don’t think policy moves very much. The states can run the schools the same way.

      IMO vouchers are a necessary step to moving away from government education. Once people take their checks (that are spent now on public schools) and shop they will start thinking about cost/benefit. Once they find themselves moving away from government schools (which I think will happen) they might start asking why we need those schools at all. At that point you may be able to sell something like a tax break instead of vouchers and basically get rid of, or greatly diminish government education at the state and federal levels.

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I think it feasible through steps, where as IMO right now that end goal now is about as legalizing heroin.

      1. Ending it opens the door to more options at the state level. Not all will change, but some will.

    5. Trivia: Abolishing the DoEd was in the 1980 GOP platform. The plank was gone by 1984.

      I am certain it will be the same with the ACA, unless Trump goes to war with Congress.

      1. I’m starting to fear the same thing.

        The whole “YOU HAVE TO REPLACE IT WITH SOMETHING” + “now republicans have to own what they come up with” = powerful stuff from a PR perspective.

        The way it is, the ACA is a great tool for Republicans to bludgeon Democrats with in a lot of places. They don’t want to give that up before the next election. Or the the one after that… Or……

    6. Lol. Isaac hates children. Probably too cheap to buy his orphans spelt bread.

  4. OT: The horror of Trump’s immigration policies continues.

    One of the largest hospitals in the country is chasing a bill of more than ?500,000 from a Nigerian woman who gave birth to quadruplets.
    The 43-year-old, named only as Priscilla, went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November.
    She had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago, in the US, where she has family ? but was turned away by border officials upon arrival. They claimed that although she had a visa, she did not have required documents from a hospital stating that she had the money to pay for the birth.


    Priscilla is currently staying at a hostel run by a charity and is unable to afford the bill.

    We could have picked up her $630,000 bill, but instead the Brits got it! See, this is how immigration restrictions will cause the country to suffer.

    1. Come on, it’s $630K as UK values these things. In US it’d be, what, $4 million? (settle for 10%)

      The article is interesting, I’ve seen some murmurs about costs of “health tourism” in UK before…

    2. She had intended to give birth to the babies in Chicago

      Let me guess, the U.K. won’t give the babies automatic U.K. citizenship either.

      1. Good question, and the answer is no. Though being born in UK does automatically make you lawful resident, and if you live there until you are 10, you will be granted citizenship at any point after, if you ask for it.

        Article says she went to the US because her doctor told her local hospitals won’t be able to help (older woman + quintuplets is a complication).

        Citizenship thing surprised me, Canada is explicitly “on birth” and I figured we’d have ripped of UK rules…

        1. Doesn’t being a Commonwealth member give Nigerians easier permanent residence status?

    3. I thought health care in the UK was free?

      1. It is if you pay for it.

        1. “Raise the price of the free lunch by $1!”

    4. If you dig into the article enough there is one thing worth noting: She arrived in England in November.

      1. Ya, I saw that. I did not know they turned expectant mothers away if they did not have the resources to pay the bill in the states. That is news to me.

      2. The 43-year-old, named only as Priscilla, went into labour three months early shortly after landing at Heathrow airport in November.

        She also gave birth in November.

        Apparently she’s been living in the charity hostel since then while the two surviving babies have been racking up ?20,000 a week in neonatal ICU charges.

        Hard to muster up any sympathy for someone who deliberately has IVF without planning on how to follow through on payment and then basically laughs the whole thing off with “My babies are priceless”. No, lady, they aren’t. It’s too bad the babies aren’t worth something; maybe then the hospital could sell them and cover some of their losses. 🙂

    5. the Brits got it


  5. Nice work! Brief but informative – perfect for social media. I’ll have to check out this Choice Media site. Being a millennial female, I have a few social media friends who are beginning their careers in education, and all I’ve seen is hysteria about DeVos (She thinks you should only be able to send your kids to school if you can afford it! Why doesn’t she care about special needs kids?! – no joke, people actually posted those). I really think if you guys can find a way to expand to Snapchat somehow, you’ll be set. I mean, no one would admit to getting their news exclusively from there, but when I see people regurgitating the same talking points almost verbatim from a Cosmo or Vice article on the same day it ran, it’s pretty suspicious. Just my two cents, I know it’s a long shot. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing your articles.

    1. Nick, you aren’t fooling anyone with this comment.

      1. I could take that joke and run really deep into the gutter with it, but I’m too classy. The classiest.

      2. That did make me laugh.,, like the borderline rude comment about the nose hairs, haha

        1. Gillespie reigns in the female millennials with Snapchat, and I keep them around with rude, incisive wit. Sure, she will soon be freaked out by Eddie and the Canadians – and that’s beyond everyone’s control. Nick’s hipness and my wit only get a website so far.

          1. Eddie and the Canadians…I saw them open for Rush at…hey, wait a minute!

          2. You rang?

            /takes shot of hootch. Wipes lips with sleeve.

            1. Haha, Rufus, pure happenstance, but I read this comment while doing your comment. O.o

          3. Hey, where the white women at?

            1. They might be the chopped liver..

      3. I don’t think Nick posted that comment. I suspect one of his eyebrows.

        1. That was The Jacket. The Jacket still thinks it’s cool and hip enough to pull it off. Sad!

    2. You want my number?! I am the american socialist

        CALL 1-888-MAO-ROXX NOW!!!
        CALL 1-888-MAO-ROXX!

  6. So when progressives say we can’t do school choice because that will destroy public education….isn’t that them admitting that they think public education is not up to par?

    1. The problem is that the kids of people who don’t care about them will be stranded in these failed schools with no money. So the solution is obvious. You punish the kids of the people who do care about their children be keeping them in the failed schools. It’s called feelz.

    2. Nope. Most progressive believe that charter schools only succeed because they take the most talented students leaving the average students behind.

      1. And their response is to force them to stay by taking away any other choice. In other words, their same solution for everything.

        1. Exactly. It is a classic “road to hell…” scenario.

        2. Equality. With them it always means the same thing; drag the top down to the bottom. Midgets forcing everyone to walk on their knees.

          1. Horrifying and beautiful.

      2. “…they take the most talented students leaving the average students behind.”

        Like life then? You can rework that for anything. For example, the take the most talented athletes leaving the average athletes behind.

        Nobody wants a mediocre QB or centre fielder!

  7. Federal government is run like the mafia does things…hey that is some nice spending you got there, or here are some regs you may not want….cough cough. hit up my campaign!

    1. Before I listen… WOULD. my god, pretty girl.

  8. Two years huh?…..years.html

    1. Two years and billions to build a wall that will be defeated in two minutes.

      1. Exactly, and the next democrat president is just going to tear it down. Although if all the government ever gets done is building a worthless wall and tearing it back down again, that would be an improvement. Yeah, it’s a waste of money, but you know they would spend the money on something else if not that.

        1. Paul Krugman would that as a perfect use of taxpayer money.

          1. …VIEW that….

      2. “Two years and billions to build a wall that will be defeated in two minutes.”

        Speaking with the guide at the Great Wall in China a couple of years ago, I asked how the Mongols got past the thing; it’s pretty impressive. He shrugged and said ‘They bribed someone to open a gate’.
        Walls work if there’s shooting zones on both sides; not a chance.

        1. Shooting zone…its called the killing field. A wide open space with no cover that has to be crossed before reaching a fortification.

          1. Presently referred to as the ‘Engagement Area’ in modern warfare parlance.

          2. The basement stairs?

  9. UC Berkeley riot raises questions about free speech

    (This reminds me of an old headline, “War Dims Hopes for Peace”)

    1. From the comments:
      “Trump’s threats are his typical response to ANYONE WHO OPPOSES HIM . Simply look at what happened to Meryl Streep.”

      Uh, she got called on BS by Piers Morgan?
      Other than that, she got applause from one of the most coddled populations in the US.

      1. He called her overrated. Overrated! Meryl Streep!

    2. the Berkeley campus has been and will remain a bastion of protected speech

      Uh huh. In contrast to every other college in the US lately?

    3. Birthplace of the free speech movement. I keep hearing that.

      Philadelphia, 1787 is the birthplace of the free speech movement.

      1. Suthenboy you are killing it. You are like God blessed John, I mean that as a compliment.

    4. Alan Schlosser, Senior Counsel with the ACLU of Northern California, said that without knowing precisely what sort of public-safety threats prompted Cal police to act it was difficult to assess their decision. But he said “the university has a clear obligation to provide controversial speakers the right to speak and not to cave in to threats or disruptions, say, by hecklers.

      “In this case,” he said, “the university knew beforehand about the threats and did not give in to them by cancelling the speech in advance. And it does seem that the actions last night went beyond simply being threats of disruption. If people there opposed to the speaker created a truly dangerous situation, then the university was within its rights to cancel the speech.

      So he went to the same school as Shikha? I don’t get it. So the university has a responsibility to stop speech, but do not have a responsibility to stop some guys from beating a dude to unconsciousness in the street? Who created the dangerous situation? The guy saying words, (stupid as they may be) or the guys with the sticks? It is good to know where the ACLU stands there.

      1. Seems like he pretty clearly said the rioters (“people there opposed to the speaker”) created the dangerous situation.

        He was just saying he thought it got dangerous enough that their decision to call it off was justified.

        1. In other words, once people create a dangerous situation for free speech, the proper response is to shut down the free speech.

          I see no possible downsides to this approach.

    1. The best way to defeat fascism is to behave exactly like a fascist; adopt their language, tactics and rationale. Makes sense.

      1. The NYU Anti-Fascists organized the event on Facebook titled “Disrupt Gavin McInnes at NYU.”

        You must be confused. These are anti-fascists.

      2. Antifa is what a fascist sees when he looks in the mirror.

        1. Just think of “antifa” as meaning “anti-First Amendment.”

      3. That is the doctrine of homeopathy.

    2. He’s a Canadian who founded Vice….

      There’s your problem. He is probably a curler too.

  10. So who has quit, or is seriously threatening to quit the comments?

    I saw something saying RC Dean split. That’s too bad. Stand in defiance of the articles, whether you read them or not.

    1. Meh, if I am gonna quit, I am gonna quit. I am sure as hell not gonna go on a tirade as to why I am quitting. It will probably be because I ran out of chicken jokes.

      1. Meh, if I am gonna quit, I am gonna quit. I am sure as hell not gonna go on a tirade as to why I am quitting. It will probably be because I ran out of chicken jokes.

        How very insensitive of you, Chip. Certain individuals have expressed concern and here you are making obscure references regardingchickens.

        1. I love Rodney Carrington. Show Them to Me is one of the greatest antiwar ballads ever.

          1. This part of it seemed to generate though among a (very) few coworkers.

            1. thought

              Dang it, first squirrels and now myself.

    2. I’m *relatively* new, although I’ve posted off-and-on for a couple of years under different handles. But, I’ve lurked enough to know that RC leaving is a big thing.

      He and John (whatever your opinion of him) provide(d) legal analysis that you generally won’t find in random comment threads.

      I know I’m not the only one who stumbled onto a Reason post that was interesting and then just accidentally found out that the comments are phenomenal. Not that I think a publication should necessarily always listen to its commenters, but Reason should realize that their commentariat is a huge amount of the draw here. And it’s telling that a good portion of the loyal commentariat is in revolt against the publication.

      1. I have always leaned toward personal liberty in my life journey, but I have learned a hell of a lot more about libertarian thinking from the commentariat than what I have gained from the articles. Seems we have moved to progressive lite with an after taste of ass.

    3. RC, Hamster, Lord Humungus, Banjos came back and said her final goodbye, Riven, I’m sure Sloopy is going to be gone.

      Tonio is working on an alternative of some sort, and there are many people who have said that they are waiting on that alternative before making a final decision, including myself. There is a Steam group that some people are joining. There’s some info in the *Of Course* article.

      1. Y’all take everything too seriously. I am here to be entertained and to, hopefully, entertain. That is all. Anything else is a recipe for high cortisol levels.

        1. I don’t blame people for leaving. I think they’re seeing what was their ideological home for years become more hostile towards them, both from the writers and from an emboldened group of commenters that are either new, or haven’t been around much in the last 8 years.

          Personally, I think the signal to noise ratio around here has been steadily dropping, and there was a precipitous dropoff when Trump was inaugurated. The people I most respect around here are participating less, and a handful of trolls and roided-up assholes have taken their place. My original solution was to reasonable the hell out of the people who had nothing to contribute. That may stay as my solution. It depends on what Tonio has to offer. It’s not like there’s some super quality journalism keeping me here if my favorite commenters jump ship.

  11. Shikha-ism

    ‘Before we condemn violence, we must first condemn the speaker, because words are literally violence…something, something…Trump’

    Reason approved
    Stay ‘woke’ and a pseudo-intellectual

    1. I’ve always liked Shikha. I hold Nick responsible for the relatively recent change in the editorial direction of the blog.

      1. I also like Shikha. The apoplectic reactions to her articles are very entertaining.

  12. OK Cupid is so woke. From my email:

    At OkCupid, we believe that judging others based on their sex, religion, country of origin, or orientation is un-American. There is no room for intolerance.

    Instead, we’ve celebrated individuality in all its various forms since we were founded. Our users live in 214 countries around the world. They identify as 22 genders and 13 orientations. They are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Atheists, Buddhists and Agnostics.

    We strongly believe that America’s history of welcoming others not only represents the best of American values, but it also defines the core of what has made our country the great place it is, and has been. Love, not hate, is the solution.

    OkCupid is open to all individuals. Thanks for making OkCupid a welcoming place


    Finally – a dating site that takes a stand.

    1. At OkCupid, we believe that judging others based on their sex, religion, country of origin, or orientation is un-American. There is no room for intolerance.

      Uh… Huh?

      Also, all of those other things are 100% legitimate reasons to not want to date someone.

      1. “Look, I don’t care what religion or sex or race you are, just so long as you’re filthy stinking rich.”

      2. OKCupid doesn’t judge. They leave that to their customers.

    2. They identify as 22 genders and 13 orientations.

      wow. That is some serious woke.

    3. “Love, not hate, is the solution.”

      So glad someone finally had the courage to say this.

      1. Also, “There is no room for intolerance.”

        I mean, it’s great that they avoided the temptation to get into all the nuances of immigration and refugee policy, how visa applications get processed, prior experience administering a complex program of security screening, the history of foreign terror groups and their sympathizers, etc., etc.

        No, they maintain a clear-eyed vision based on *lots* of after-school specials, and that Star Trek episode where one group is black on the right side and its enemies are black on the left side, and other sources.

        So they avoid the temptation of getting bogged down in details, and simply hold fast to their basic principles, that Goodness is Good, and Mean People Suck, knowing that a simple application of these principles is all they need to navigate their way through all the seeming complexities of questions which others profess to find difficult.

        There’s not need to discuss tradeoffs or to weigh risks, it’s a simple matter of being very, very loving and caring, and we know that at the end of the episode everyone will sing a nice song about togetherness and harmony which sums up the Important Lessons.

    4. That’s some Sikh tolerance.

    5. It’s kinda funny given some of their match questions are decidedly anti-Christian. Or at least, make judgments about Christians.

  13. Decided to re-read The True Believer, again, and ran across this early on:

    “For men to plunge headlong into an undertaking of vast change, they must be intensely discontented yet not destitute, and they must have the feeling that by the possession of some potent doctrine, infallible leader or some new technique they have access to a source of irresistible power. They must also have an extravagant conception of the prospects and potentialities of the future. Finally, they must be wholly ignorant of the difficulties involved in their vast undertaking. Experience is a handicap. The men who started the French Revolution where wholly without political experience. The same is true of the Bolsheviks, Nazis, and the revolutionaries in Asia. The experienced man of affairs is a latecomer. He enters the movement when it is already a going concern.”

    1. You are supposed to grow out of that shit by the time you are 30.

  14. All right, I am outta here. Good night to all the lovely souls that enrich our lives with their pithy comments.

    1. I always read pithy as though I have a lisp.

  15. If you are going to do extreme close-ups, please consider wearing a Nixon mask.

  16. Good post.

    That’s an important lesson to keep in mind when watching the antics of the Left of late. Their lunacy is not directed at the rest of us. They don’t care what you or anyone else thinks about what’s happening. Their public acts are about signalling to the rest of the believers. By holding protests and making fools of themselves in a public way, they are providing support for one another as they work through the disconfirmation. Like herd animals, they are huddling together in the face if danger. It is pure instinct.

    If they were left to sit alone at home, they would have no one around to help them through their doubts. These are people whose entire sense of self is dependent on the identity of the group, so getting out and “making their voices heard” lets them focus on something other than the disconfirmation. Trump as Hitler provides a short term bridge between the failed prophesy and whatever comes next for the New Religion. They can tell themselves that their faith was not wrong, it was just subverted by mysterious forces, or Hitler.

  17. Could someone please explain to me how stealing my money to educate someone’s child is libertarian? Is it because a private person is using the stolen money? Does that somehow make it better? Or is it okay to take money from me if you think you have a better system? I’m totally lost over this school choice cheer leading.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.