Letting parents choose to send their children to charter schools could pave the way for greater education equality and is the “natural progression” of civil rights victories to end segregation, according to Jeb Bush.
The potential 2016 White House contender, who now leads an organization pushing for school reforms, praised educational options in an op-ed in The Miami Herald on Saturday.
“The natural progression of Brown v. Board of Education is the empowerment of families,” he wrote on the 60th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision.
“It is moving the critical decision of where a child goes to school away from centralized bureaucracies and into living rooms. It is creating a marketplace of schools where achievement is measured, where results are communicated to parents in a simple, transparent manner and where a school’s students are earned, not an entitlement.”
The promise of the 1954 decision “goes unrealized,” he wrote, noting that test scores for African-American and Hispanic students often fall far below those of their white classmates.
“Equality in education has evolved from an issue of social justice for one demographic group to what must become a national priority for all Americans,” he wrote.
The way to do that, Bush offered, is to let parents and children have more choices in where they learn.
He made a case for charter schools, which operate independently of local school boards, as well as tax vouchers and other credits that help them attend private school.
Critics of the schools worry that they aren’t held to the same standards as public institutions and don’t have to serve all children, unlike public schools.