Since my days in the early grades of school, there’s been a lot of educational progress in America.
Not so much in the public schools, but in alternatives to them. When I was young, public schools were not only paid for by taxpayers, they were near-monopolies. Parochial schools and other religious-based programs were few. Home-schooling was uncommon, technically illegal in most states and locales.
How things have changed! Not enough, mind you. But the general political culture has improved enough that charter schools are often voted in, and there exist working voucher systems, if of a limited scope, in several areas of these United States.
In Britain, the situation is also opening up. The Labour Party is pitching its support for “parent-led academies in areas of educational need.” Party outreach spokesman Tristram Hunt, who had previously snarked that such projects were “vanity project[s] for yummy mummies,” takes it all back, now insisting that his (quasi-socialist) Labour Party now backs “enterprise and innovation.”
Britain is ruled by a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, with Labour on the outs, so of course Labour could be said to be grasping at straws. It’s cheap to try freedom when you have little power. Conservative politicians insist that the latest statements are nothing but empty promises, and that Labour is still socialistically clinging to the old notion of schools “run by bureaucrats.”
But hey: notice that freer solutions are on the table.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.