Reason Podcast

Why School Choice Is Growing Everywhere: Podcast

Q&A with the president of National School Choice Week, Andrew Campanella

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National School Choice Week, an annual event that coordinates thousands of events designed to bring attention to alternatives to traditional public K–12 education, is running nationwide through Saturday, January 26. (Go here for more information.) For today's Reason Podcast, I spoke with the group's president, Andrew Campanella, about the remarkable growth of school choice over the past few decades, especially since the introduction of charter schools in the mid-1990s.

About 10 percent of the nation's 50 million K–12 students attend a school they choose rather than following the traditional method of residential assignment, says Campanella, who notes that the trend is getting stronger every year. In a wide-ranging conversation, he argues that school choice is part of a wider social movement toward increasing personalization in many goods and services—and a reflection of the recognition that education is one of the central ways for people to realize their potential.

As a media sponsor of School Choice Week, Reason publishes articles, videos, and podcasts related to school choice during this week. For coverage from past years, go here.

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  1. Because it’s an absurdly obvious idea. The question isn’t why it’s picking up, as much as why did purely district based schooling ever become the norm.

    1. Um, because kids need to be able to get to school, and a district providing transportation is going to be able to do so in the most cost effective way if students live close to their school. Some private schools and charters might have their own buses and such, but generally, parents are on their own to find a way to get their kids to them.

      There is also the fact that public schools have, from the beginning, been paid for mainly with local taxes. Making districts that line up with the tax base was likely something that residents and parents wanted. If you really want to get away from having school districts, you’ll have to fund public education in an entirely different way.

  2. It ain’t growing in WA State. The NEA/WEA and Dem majorities have ensured that.

  3. Yes school choice is growing in places where the parents’ want their children educated. To often children go through 12 years of public education and are not educated. In most the children learn to fill in the blanks and to parrot back what the teachers say or fail. The children are not taught how to think by taking the information provided then forming an opinion but to think as the teacher and the school system demands.

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  5. Choices are hard.

    Have you been to the grocers and saw jars of Jumbo, Colossal, and King size olives and said: which is bigger and best?

    Think of your child as the olive.

    What school is bigger and best?

    Let Central Committee choose what’s best for your child.

    Our school choice knowledge experts have taken specialized courses at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government.

    Relax, everything is already done for you and your family.

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