“LAST WEEK TONIGHT” HOST ZEROES IN ON “PUBLIC SCHOOL CHOICE”
Not long ago we did a post on government-funded charter schools in South Carolina … and we hope to focus additional attention on them in the weeks to come.
John Oliver – host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” – did a segment on charter schools last week, and it was downright scathing.
“We’re going to set aside whether or not charter schools are a good idea in principle,” Oliver said, noting that politicians of all stripes have endorsed this form of “public school choice” – and that charter schools are currently operational in the vast majority of states.
“So instead we’re going to look at how they operate in practice,” he said.
And how is that? Here’s Oliver’s bruising critique …
(Click to play)
Oliver has been criticized for cherrypicking the very worst examples of charter school mismanagement, and maybe he did.
But that’s not our problem with his report.
Our beef lies with Oliver’s presumption that government-subsidized charter schools somehow represent a “free market.”
“The problem with letting the free market decide when it comes to kids is that kids change faster than the market,” he said. “And, by the time it’s obvious a school is failing, futures may have been ruined. So, if we are going to treat charter schools like pizza shops, we should monitor them at least as well as we do pizzerias.”
You know, Oliver clearly needs to spend some time checking out the government-run system in South Carolina – where an effective state-run monopoly continues to be an unmitigated, increasingly expensive disaster.
Seriously: The government-run system here is ruining futures by the tens of thousands … every year.
Also the last time we checked, if a program was failing and the government was responsible for both its approval and its funding – then it’s not a failure of the market.
It’s a failure of government …
Anyway, we plan on focusing a lot more attention on South Carolina’s charter schools in the near future, so stay tuned …