Monday, August 19, 2002

Textual Disconnect

The Monday Commercial Appeal has a story about private schools and accountability. Shades of George Flinn's campaign, eh? Anyway, the headline and subhead of the story are:

Private schools judge themselves -- Accountability boils down to paying parents

The story itself, however, is another matter. The author goes to fairly good lengths to talk to the principals of several schools to ask about accreditation. Overall, the story focuses on facts and self-regulation, even including a chart explaining the Tennessee Department of Education's grouping of private schools. It's short, but pretty good.

So why was the title necessary? It goes against the very substance of the article, and gives an impression not carried by the story.

That said, what's wrong with parents voting with their feet and pocketbooks? Only someone who believes state schools should monopolize the education of our children would agree. But imagine, for a moment, a world where numerous private schools and school systems flourish. Parents can choose the schools that most closely mirror their own educational preferences for their children. Schools that fail or don't deliver as promised lose students and eventually close. Successful schools spawn imitators and grow. Private schools, freed from state protection, can also be punished for criminal or professional misconduct.

What's so wrong with that?

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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