School choice would diffuse the endless argument over CRT
The protests, legislative actions, and general hub-hub over the teaching of critical race theory have generated a lot of headlines, but no solutions.
There’s an obvious one: school choice. And as Reason’s J.D. Tuccille writes, if we had more school choice, critical race theory, or any of a host of other highly contentious issues wouldn’t matter:
“Rather than build bridges, public schooling often forces people into wrenching, zero‐sum conflict,” notes the Cato Institute’s Public Schooling Battle Map, which tracked such debates long before the current controversy. “Think creationism versus evolution, or assigned readings containing racial slurs. The conflicts are often intensely personal, and guarantee if one fundamental value wins, another loses.”
That said, families that choose how their children learn—my own included—rather than defaulting to government-run institutions don’t have to lose anything because we have largely escaped these battles. By homeschooling, or micro-schooling, or picking private or charter schools, we can avoid curricula permeated with ideas we find toxic and select those that present ideas of which we approve or, even better from my perspective, that encourage open debate among opposing perspectives.
Exactly. With a multitude of educational options available, the increasingly nasty, endlessly pointless arguments over curricula can end – and kids can get back to learning:
We don’t need to wage the curriculum wars at all. Instead, let’s pick where and how our children are educated, and encourage others to do the same. Then they can hash out their ideas in a society that remains open to disagreement and debate.
Educational freedom: it’s worth striving for.