The Great Retreat Now Begins: Choice is No Longer About “Saving Poor Children from Failing Schools”

Diane Ravitch's blog

Do you remember back in the old days when the privatization movement began that choice was going to “save poor children from failing schools”?

Well, that slogan is now obsolete. Now the advocates say that the purpose of choice is choice, regardless of results.

That subtle shift has happened because of the many recent studies and evaluations showing that charters and vouchers do not necessarily get better results, and that they may even have a negative effect, as we learned from recent evaluations of voucher programs in D.C., Louisiana, Indiana, and Ohio.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos sounded the bugle call for retreat after learning of the poor results of the latest evaluation of the D.C. voucher program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

In the past, she had said that choice would “save poor kids from failing schools.” Now, however, she says, “When school choice policies are fully…

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