Lawmakers Wage War Over School Choice

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( – Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is Stanford University’s Hoover Institute’s current director, argued that school choice was necessary in the United States and that lacking school freedom has a negative effect on low-income minority students. 

Rice in her statement at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institution in Simi Valley, California, on June 6, argued that education already has a choice system. She added that those who have the resources will choose to move to a better school district where housing is more expensive. She continued by noting that those who are wealthy will opt to have their children attend private schools, leaving only poor kids to attend failing neighborhood schools. She also pointed out that oftentimes these are minority kids. 

Rice pointed out that a lack of school choice only had a negative impact on low-income families, as they were forced to remain in underfunded school districts. She proceeded to question how one could say they are a supporter of civil rights when they are condemning those poorer children to being unable to read. She added that by the time those kids reach the third grade they would never be able to read. 

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), has shown that around one-third of fourth-grade children in America either read at that level or below it. The rates are even lower among minority and low-income students. 

She added that if someone wanted to argue that school choice was harming public schools they could do that, but they should not be sending their kids to elite private schools, like Sidwell Friends.

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