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Public School Monopoly Needs to Be Broken

October 13, 2003

Re "History Lesson: Schools' Golden Age Is a Myth," Voices, Oct. 4: Former public school teacher and graduate-level lecturer Walt Gardner unwittingly demonstrates the urgent need for school vouchers so parents and students can escape the public school monopoly.

Gardner criticizes critics of public schools who yearn for a return to a prior golden age of public schooling and then shows that the public has been constantly complaining about the quality of the public schools for 150 years. In other words, Gardner is actually arguing that because public schools were just as bad 150 years ago as they are today, parents and students have no right to expect public schools to improve.

What a great slogan for public schools: Failure for 150 years; let's not change a thing!

If Gardner is correct that there is no hope that the public school monopoly can improve, then the only solution is to try school vouchers. It can't be any worse than what we have now.

David B. Shemano

Los Angeles

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