It is encouraging that the "New" or centrist Democrats, like Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) president Al From, are finally embracing school choice as an essential component of school reform. But From appears to put choice entirely within the framework of public education, which he would redefine, in part, as schools "accountable to public authorities for results."
Charter schools are helpful spurs to change within the public system, but choice does not end with them. There are bolder (not necessarily "New") Democrats like former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who have endorsed publicly financed vouchers to empower parents to choose privately run schools. Mr. Young understands that a government monopoly is part of the problem. "Poor people really need some power against the public education system," he recently told The Christian Science Monitor.
Ultimately schools must be accountable to parents for results.
Robert Holland, Senior Fellow