In education, Sweden is the future. If policymakers in Sacramento and Washington really want to embrace change, they need to follow the lead of our Scandinavian friends and give all parents choice.
These are the words of Lance Izumi, Director of Education Studies at the free-market Pacific Research Institute in an October 19th editorial in the Eureka (CA) Reporter. If you spit up your coffee when you read it, I’d certainly understand. Lest you think Izumi a lone voice in the wilderness, consider other amazing news reports on the same subject. These include a recent AP news article on school choice in Sweden and Nathan Glazer’s review in Education Next of The Market Comes to Education in Sweden: An Evaluation of Sweden’s Surprising School Reforms.
Gosh, it seems like the Reagan revolution has even come to the bastion of statist economics and overbearing welfare systems. While growing numbers of Americans are embracing school choice and its positive effects on students and the public schools, our liberal politicians continue to oppose ideas that would give parents more freedom, expand educational opportunity for students and inject much needed competition into the public schools — ideas that are now even embraced by some of the most liberal, socialist governments in the world.
The Swedes get it. And, it seems like more and more North Carolinians are beginning to see the benefits of school choice as well. According to a June 2008 Civitas Institute Poll, 64 percent of likely voters in North Carolina support a system of education tax credits to allow parents to have more educational choices. Yet the General Assembly has repeatedly failed to expand parental choice in education. Thankfully, in less than two weeks we have the power to act. Let’s ensure that our elected representatives support policies that expand educational freedom and reflect the sentiments of the majority of voters in North Carolina.