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Voucher Left

Racism, irony & school choice

Rosenwald schools, built during an earlier era to expand educational opportunity, reflect many of the impulses that guide today's school choice movement.

Lessons from a school choice trailblazer

Mary McLeod Bethune was an American hero. She was also a school choice pioneer, opening a private, faith-based school in Daytona in 1904 to expand education opportunity for African American girls. Now the state of Florida may honor her with a statue in the U.S. Capitol.

What drives a school choice stalwart

Before he became one of the most prolific and thoughtful school choice advocates in America, Jack Coons was a law professor who did what he could to promote civil rights in the 1960s. His work on potential legal snags with boycotts led to a meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. His conscience led him to Selma. He participated in demonstrations in Chicago after violence erupted over calls for fair housing. Those experiences helped fuel the sustained push for school choice that Coons and fellow Berkeley law professor Stephen Sugarman began in the late 1960s and continue to this day. Much...

‘Hippie school’ votes for school choice

The Grassroots Free School in Florida, a democratic "free school" with roots in '60s counterculture, supports school choice and accepts tax credit scholarships for low-income students.

A forgotten “freedom school”

Escuela de la Raza Unida sprang from a fight for educational freedom in the Hispanic farmworker community in southern California. It's yet more evidence of the politically diverse roots of school choice in America.

Labor unions for school choice

This is the latest post in our occasional series on the center-left roots of school choice. More than 30 years ago, liberal activists working to get a revolutionary plan for school vouchers on the California ballot approached labor leader Cesar Chavez, according to one of those activists, Berkeley law Professor Jack Coons. The co-founder of the United Farm Workers (Si Se Puede!) told Coons he liked school choice, but as far as supporting it publicly, No se puede. Doing so would put the teacher union’s generous financial support for his union at risk, he said. Other evidence suggests Chavez wasn’t just politely telling...

Sex, drugs and school choice

The Netherlands is one of the most liberal nations on the planet. It also has one of the world's most robust systems of parental school choice.

On parental choice and pluralism

Not long ago, progressives like Harvard sociologist Christopher Jencks, once a leading light of the Voucher Left, strongly supported school choice & dismissed now-popular arguments against it.