Editorializing on school choice, the Wall Street Journal writes today:
EdisonLearning, a private company that took over 20 of Philadelphia’s 45 lowest performing district schools in 2002 to create a new management model for public schools. The most recent state test-score data show that student performance at Philadelphia public schools managed by Edison and other outside providers has improved by nearly twice the amount as the schools run by the district.
The number of students performing at grade level or higher in reading at the schools managed by private providers increased by 6.1% overall compared to 3.3% in district-managed schools. In math, the results for Edison and other outside managers was 4.6% and 6.0%, respectively, compared to 3.1% in the district-run schools.
Earlier this year, Heritage senior policy analyst Dan Lips surveyed school choice policy developments nationwide writing:
This year, 13 states and the District of Columbia are supporting private school choice. Approximately 150,000 children are using publicly funded scholarships to attend private school. Millions more are benefiting from other choice options ranging from charter schools and public school choice to homeschooling and virtual education. Still, an estimated 74 percent of students remain in government-assigned public schools.
If given the opportunity, many more children could benefit from school choice options. To improve education in America, Congress and state policymakers should reform public education laws to allow greater parental choice.