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Week in Review: Celebrate School Choice…but Don't Stop There

January 28, 2023

The tide is turning. Victory in the fight for America’s future is within grasp in the form of true education freedom.

This National School Choice Week, we’re celebrating the concrete victories that have given millions of children the freedom to escape the public education apparatus’ ironclad grip—but we’re not stopping there. The Goldwater Institute is fighting to expand school choice in every state in America, and we’re also working to ensure that radical politics don’t invade our classrooms, in K-12 and beyond.

The Goldwater Institute is proud of what we’ve accomplished alongside parent advocates to expand school choice in dozens of states and protect parents’ right to find out what’s going on in public schools.

Yet Another Victory…and Another… 

The latest victories for education freedom came just this past week in Iowa and Utah, where lawmakers made their states the latest to follow the Goldwater Institute’s lead and advance full education freedom for students, passing legislation that offers education savings accounts (ESAs) to all students.

ESAs, a policy solution that the Goldwater Institute created more than a decade ago in Arizona and expanded to more than a dozen states nationwide, allow families to use the money that would otherwise be spent on their child’s public education to pursue private or at-home learning options. Iowa and Utah now join West Virginia and Arizona, where Goldwater enacted the largest expansion of school choice in history last year, in establishing universal ESA programs.

Find out more at In Defense of Liberty

School Choice Drives Innovation

School choice isn’t just changing the way families think about their child’s K-12 experience—it’s driving entrepreneurship too.

While Arizona woodworker and small business owner Ken Zevenbergen recovered from a brain tumor, he decided to open a woodworking school—and ESA students flocked to it. Meanwhile, venture capitalists have invested in the micro-school creator Prandi, making the company’s small learning communities of 10 students or fewer yet another option for ESA families.

Read more from Goldwater Institute Senior Fellow Jonathan Butcher at In Defense of Liberty

Informed School Choice Needs Academic Transparency 

To exercise informed school choice, parents need to know what their children are going to learn before they make an enrollment decision. But “perhaps nowhere is the artificial scarcity of our education system more prevalent than in the lack of curriculum transparency,” Goldwater Institute Director of Education Policy Matt Beienburg writes for Discourse Magazine.

While teachers are regularly required to submit their lesson plans to principals or curriculum coaches, the education establishment has “fought tooth and nail to block the disclosure of this same type of information to parents,” he adds.

That’s why the Goldwater Institute is promoting its landmark Academic Transparency Act across the country—to open the books on radical, Marxist dogmas like Critical Race Theory by requiring public schools to stop keeping secrets and post their learning materials online.

Read more about Goldwater’s Academic Transparency Act here

The Fight Doesn’t Stop at K-12

Leftists want to mold college students in their image, too, using “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs that compel students and faculty alike to pledge fealty at the altar of “wokeness.” Mounting evidence proves that DEI initiatives don’t make people more tolerant of individual differences, but as Jonathan Butcher writes in National Review, that hasn’t stopped “experts” from continuing to preach the DEI gospel. In fact, a new Goldwater Institute report reveals that 80 percent of the faculty job postings at public universities in Arizona require applicants to detail their commitment to woke orthodoxy by providing mandatory “diversity statements.”

“We cannot expect the self-appointed spokespersons of anti-racism to change course when their (lucrative) efforts fail to reduce bias,” Butcher says. That’s why Goldwater is working to reform America’s public education institutions, proposing policies to abolish DEI offices, prohibit mandatory diversity training and diversity statements, and end racial and other identity-based preferences in admissions and hiring.

Whether they’re in kindergarten or college, America’s students deserve better than the one-size-fits-all leftist recipe for ruin.

Read more of Butcher’s National Review article.



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