To the Editor:
Diane Ravitch’s argument that all taxes and donations be invested in public schools only, disfavoring competition or markets, sounds like organizational models in Communist countries (“Ravitch: Private Sector Should Provide Help, Not Competition for Public Schools,” Marketplace K-12 blog, Oct. 18, 2013).
Would Ms. Ravitch favor the elimination of markets in food distribution? Would the food, prices, or service be better if there were no other choices for food than what the government ordained? On her claim that private or charter schools will eventually ruin public education, have private, for-profit mental-health agencies ruined their tax-supported counterparts?
On the civic virtues perpetuated in public schools, Education Week should publish the results of more than a few surveys that show that graduates of nongovernment schools participate in the public arena (volunteering, voting, running for office) at greater rates than their public school counterparts.
Education should be in the hands of parents, with government providing need-based scholarships so that the poorest can exercise a real choice in their children’s education.
Dan Vander Ark
NorthPointe Christian Schools
Grand Rapids, Mich.
A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Private Competition Helps, Not Hurts, U.S. Education