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Competition in education

February 11. 2018 12:35AM

To the Editor: McDonald's has distinguished itself in recent years for something quite unexpected - coffee! Do you think McDonald's would have produced its fairly decent line of McCafé products if it weren't for competition from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts?

Would human beings have stepped foot on the moon as early as 1969 if it had not been for the space race between the Americans and the Russians? Would the 4-minute mile still be a seemingly unsurpassable boundary if not for the intense competition among runners during the 20th century?

Competition leads to improvement and often to excellence. The same result would hold true for education. If public schools had to compete with private schools for enrollment, all schools would improve and all students would benefit.

According to the results of the international PISA test, the U.S. consistently ranks in the middle of industrial nations in math, science, and reading scores behind a number of countries whose educational systems encourage school choice.

Choice promotes competition; competition increases opportunities and results in higher standards. Conversely, the lack of competition results in mediocrity as the PISA test results confirm. If school choice is expanded, all students will benefit no matter what school they attend because all schools will be motivated to excel.

With a superior educational system resulting from the passage of school choice legislation, perhaps someday American astronauts will no longer have to hitch a ride to the International Space Station on a Russian spacecraft as they embarrassingly must do now.



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