The current system of public education in the United States is built on a nineteenth century model that emphasizes seat time rather than mastery of subjects. This focus on seat time rather than mastery means educators teach to the middle, preventing the accelerated learner from reaching his or her potential and leaving behind those with greater needs.
Societies, economies, and technologies have changed dramatically since the nineteenth century. In the twenty-first century, we expect to be able to make choices narrowly tailored to meet our individual wants and needs. Compared to our nineteenth-century ancestors, today we choose relatively easily where to live, what occupation to work in, and what transportation we’ll use. Why should K–12 education be any different?
School choice improves educational outcomes not only for those who attend schools of choice, but also for those who remain in traditional public schools. Research shows parents given a choice tend to be more satisfied with their child’s education, which leads to more parental involvement in student learning.