School Choice: The Next Civil Rights Movement

As discussed over the past few weeks, parents are willing to go to jail to get their children in a better schoolparents stand in long lines for a shot at a voucher to allow their child into a school of their choice;parents have taken over schools; and even students have gotten part time jobs to pay for a better education.  However, the education bureaucracy continues to fight efforts to allow parents to choose their child’s school.  This defiance continues to trap children into failing or under performing schools.

Below are some disturbing statistics compiled by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation:

  • For African-American and Hispanic students across the country, dropout rates are close to 40 percent, compared to the national average of 27 percent. (EPE, 2012)
  • Two out of three eighth-graders can’t read proficiently and most will never catch up. (NAEP, 2011) (NAEP, 2011)
  • Nearly two-thirds of eighth-graders scored below proficient in math. (NAEP, 2011)
  • Seventy-five percent of students are not proficient in civics. (NAEP, 2011)
  • Nearly three out of four eighth-and 12th-grade students cannot write proficiently. (NAEP, 2012)
  • Some 1.1 million American students drop out of school every year. (EPE, 2012)
  • After World War II, the United States had the #1 high school graduation rate in the world. Today, we have dropped to # 22 among 27 industrialized nations. (OECD, 2012)
  • American students rank 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading compared to students in 27 industrialized countries.(OECD, 2012)
  • By the end of the eighth-grade, U.S. students are two years behind in math compared to their peers in other countries. (OECD, 2009)
  • American students tend to perform worse in math and science as they age, according to recent studies measuring fourth- and eighth-graders’ academic achievement against other industrialized nations. Gaps with high performing countries like North Korea and Singapore are widening. (TIMSS, 2012)

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