School choice is not the only way

Again, the Las Vegas Review-Journal misleads and misdirects in another editorial supporting its version of school choice.

This time, in its Nov. 4 editorial, the paper claimed that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., made a case for school choice. She did not. She simply correctly stated that ZIP code often dictates the kind of public education a child receives. It does.

But charter schools and school vouchers are not the only alternatives. The paper is wrong that parents of a child attending a charter school can simply leave that school behind. A charter school may be the only public school available in the area, and leaving an underachieving charter school may mean, as Ocasio-Cortez said, leaving the ZIP code. And yes, charter schools can fail, too.

As for school vouchers, they in no way guarantee that a poor student would receive the money needed to attend a private school. A $5,000-per-year voucher would not suffice. Conservatives tell us that throwing money at public education is not the answer, and they are right. What will improve public education is the smart use of more money, and every educator in the country knows this is true.

You want better performance for students poorly performing in English skills? Easy, provide the expertise needed for those students. You want better math performance? Spend the money to provide the math teachers who can make a difference. Don't fund your students at a level of 47th nationally and then complain about their performance.