If you listened to or watched Sunday’s Republican presidential debate on Fox News, held in Orlando, Fla, you would have thought that vouchers and school choice will solve all of our education ills. How do we fix the No Child Left Behind Act? With free markets, vouchers, and school competition, according to former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.
What about re-engaging teachers, many of whom have been disenfranchised as part of NCLB? Again, vouchers are the answer, according to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor. He and Thompson were the only candidates who got a chance to answer questions about education reform.
“That’s going to bring back public school teachers?” replied one of the moderators, Wendell Goler of Fox News, after Giuliani told him school choice was the answer.
“I love teachers...but I really care about the kids more,” Giuliani replied. You can read the full transcript here.
The former mayor told the story of a privately funded scholarship program in the mid- to late-1990s that in one year received 168,000 applicants from New York City for 2,500 slots.
“We had to tell them because they don’t have enough money, they couldn’t put the child in the school of their choice,” he said. “We should empower parents.”