Virg Bernero on Education: Was Lost, But Now He's Found

In an interview with The Detroit News, gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero said, "One of the reasons we lose kids to the private school system is because of discipline." 

"Losing" kids is an interesting way for Bernero to describe families who choose to opt out of the public school system, since he himself was primarily educated at a non-public school, and also chose one for one of his children.

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Indeed, Mr. Bernero benefited from what he described in another interview with the Michigan Education Association as a "very interesting and excellent education" at St. Benedict's Catholic School in Pontiac, which he attended from grades first through eighth. He also graduated from Adrian College, a private school that describes itself as a "liberal arts College in the United Methodist tradition." Bernero also told the MEA that one of his daughters graduated from Lansing Catholic High School.

Surely Mr. Bernero does not consider himself and his daughter to have been "lost" during the years they attended non-public schools?

Notwithstanding his own and his family's apparently positive experiences with non-public schools, Mr. Bernero never mentions them when discussing his plans to improve K-12 education. This and the "losing" reference suggests that the candidate now thinks that only government-owned and operated schools have a role in improving education and student outcomes in Michigan.

Among the most effective ways to improve the lot of students in this state would be to grant more of them the same opportunity to attend private schools that Mr. Bernero and his family have enjoyed.