News that fewer than 1 in 5 of a city’s public elementary- and middle-school students met the state’s expectations in math and language arts would once have been shocking (“Education Rescue in Providence,” Review & Outlook, Dec. 21). But such statistics are now commonplace, as is the fact that those students are disproportionately poor and minority. Decade after decade, it only seems to get worse. The solutions proposed by the education establishment range from ineffective to preposterous.
If there is structural racism in America, it is the government monopoly on public schools. Many schools have an opportunity to prepare poor and minority kids for a productive life, but they fail at a rate that would be outrageous in the provision of any other good or service. It’s time to turn K-12 education over to the private sector. That would put parents in charge of schooling, and they could hardly do worse than the government.
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Appeared in the December 29, 2020, print edition.