For as long as there have been public schools, there has been school choice. That was the message Matt Ladner delivered to education choice critics in an interview on KJZZ, a Phoenix-based public radio station.
The station aired interviews this week reflecting both sides of the education choice issue, which has been hotly debated in Ladner’s home state of Arizona. The first featured Diane Ravitch, an education professor, author and former assistant U.S. secretary of education during the George H.W. Bush administration. Ravitch argued that public schools are being hurt by billionaires who champion school choice.
Ladner, former vice president of research at the Goldwater Institute who is presently serving as director of the Center for Student Opportunity at the Arizona Charter Schools Association, responded in a follow-up interview today that education choice is not the result of a sinister plot but rather an attempt to democratize educational opportunities. School choice has always existed, he said, for those who are able to buy homes in well-to-do neighborhoods or afford tuition at pricey private schools.
“As long as school choice was tied to granite countertops, everything was fine,” Ladner said. “What we’re trying to do is extend that same opportunity to all students.”
Click here to listen to a snippet of the interview with Ravitch followed by Ladner’s interview.