Former Secretary of Education Rod Paige called for universal school choice in the United States on Monday. Paige was the secretary of education during President George W. Bush’s first term.
“My suggestion is to design our school operations around the principle of universal school choice,” Paige said at a school choice forum hosted by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. “Completely remove the power of government to dictate where a child attends school. ... Chaining a child to a school that does not serve them well is a miscarriage of justice. ... All parties, teachers, parents, students and the public at large would benefit from the innovation and creativity inspired by universal school choice.”
Paige said public school reform efforts have failed to make any progress for decades. “The current failure of public school reforms cannot be attributed to lack of effort.” From the mid-1980s to the mid-2000s, “school reform was dominated by education theorists, political leaders, researchers, a long list of other interested parties and agencies, governors, corporate America chimed in,” Paige said. But all that effort was for naught. “It is indisputable how we are presently working is not working. And continuing as we are presently working seems clearly unwise,” Paige said.