The author of the commentary quoted below is an African-American Democratic State Senator in Pennsylvania, and is running for Governor in that state’s Democratic primary which will be held on May 18, 2010.
(p. A17) As an African-American legislator, I’ve seen children in inner-city schools trapped, and I’ve seen kids in rural areas with no choice but to stay in underperforming schools. Changing the status quo is a big reason why I’m running for governor.
My mom was also a public school teacher, so make no mistake, I know how hard they work. At the same time, schools must also be able to terminate, not just reassign, poor performing teachers. And when we empower parents to choose the school that’s best for their children, it serves as a constant audit of a school’s quality because parents are able to leave bad schools and enroll their children in better performing schools.
I hope that Pennsylvania receives a Race to the Top grant. But unless we’re willing to fundamentally change the system, the money’s impact will be minimal. Children in our state can’t wait any longer: Now is the time for school choice.
For the full commentary, see:
ANTHONY HARDY WILLIAMS. “Pennsylvania Kids Deserve School Choice; Bad public schools hurt poor and rural children the most.” The Wall Street Journal (Weds., MAY 12, 2010): A17.