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Secretary DeVos is right. Education freedom improves public schools.

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Unread 03.12.18, 04:38 PM
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Secretary DeVos is right. Education freedom improves public schools.

03.12.18 10:41 AM

Last night on*CBS’s*60 Minutes,*Education Secretary Betsy DeVos*was asked about the impact of school choice*policies on public schools.*Citing Florida’s positive*track record on*education—a state with an abundance of*public and*private school choice options—DeVos*rightly*stated that when more educational options are available*to families, the academic outcome of students in traditional public schools*improve.** 60 Minutes*host*Lesley Stahl challenged DeVos’s argument,*however,*pointing out*that in*DeVos’ home state of*Michigan,*traditional*public schools don’t appear to*be making*progress.*DeVos’ inarticulate response has opened her up to attacks, but*the Secretary’s*conclusion*was*correct, and the line of questioning itself misses the point.** As*it turns out,*poor outcomes in*Michigan*cannot be*blamed*on*increased educational options, as the state*still*lags*when it comes to educational freedom. In fact,*Michigan*currently*does not have any private school choice programs.*And as*noted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “not only is educational choice limited to public schools, but the Michigan Constitution actually prohibits any public benefit from being used to help students attend a private school (other than transportation). No other state constitution is more restrictive.”* Moreover,*DeVos is right*to point out*that educational freedom affects public schools in a positive way, and there’s evidence that Michigan’s public schools would benefit from expanding*choice*beyond just public*schools, especially since*sound research has demonstrated that*the availability of educational options*improves*public school performance.*According to EdChoice:* “Thirty-three empirical studies have been conducted […]

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