Paulson: It’s time for school choice

Take time to watch Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, voted best U.S. documentary at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, and you’ll be confronted with the sorry state of America’s school system. How can America invent a more innovative and profitable future without a quality education system? In response, experts suggest that the dismissal of 1,000 of the country’s worst teachers would allow our great teachers to build on what’s been learned instead of being stuck teaching students what they should’ve already mastered.

But teacher unions resist any attempts to discipline and fire failing, sub-standard teachers. They also have squashed any attempt to pay for performance—rewarding at a higher level the best teachers and minimizing the pay of the less effective teachers. Instead of being part of the solution, they just keep campaigning for more money. With an exploding deficit at the national and state level, the funds aren’t there.

As President Obama’s team love to say, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Maybe it’s time “we the people” just blew our educational system wide open, and I don’t mean improve the Department of Education. Improvements are for wimps. I mean abolish it. Deep six it. Eliminate, toss, obliterate it; give it the old heave-ho; force it to walk the plank. It is broken and it’s wasting money our government doesn’t have while limiting education of our young people.

Continuing studies by the Pacific Research Institute have found that there are proven options that cost less, produce better results and keep and reward the best teachers and schools. It’s time we do more than read about what other countries are doing to become more American than America.

Want to see more? Lance Izumi has done a video op-ed, Sweden’s Choice, for the New York Times that chronicles the effectiveness of the Swedish voucher system. Lance Izumi, their senior director of education studies, asserts, “There isn’t anything that discounts the Swedish model as something the U.S. can’t look at.” It’s time we invest in the education of our greatest resource—our youth. And it’s time we make a smart investment by giving you back control of your children’s future! Don’t settle for the status quo! “We the People” want solutions that work and use our tax dollars responsibly.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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