Focus Point - Evidence For ChoiceCommentary by Pete du Pont
September 18, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. A new study by researcher Terry Moe, reported in the publication education matters, confirms what I've long argued about school choice: the appeal for parents of sending their children to private schools is greatest among low-income families, minorities and those living in low-performing districts.
Moe also refutes a wheezing anti-choice argument, that shifting from public to private schools is racially motivated.
In fact, he found that race has little to do with parents going private, and there's no evidence whites turn to private schools to flee minorities. In fact, by far the most powerful influence is the poor performance of public schools. Half said they'd go private if money weren't a factor. Among low-income, inner-city parents, 67 percent want out of the public system. They're 26 percent more likely to be interested in private schools, compared to just 11 percent for upper-income parents. And why not? Wealthy people's public schools are rarely things to flee from. Poor parents can't wait to get children out of there.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the original election drama.