Break These Chains: The Battle for School Choice

Daniel McGroarty, Author, William J. Bennett, Foreword by Prima Lifestyles $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7615-0507-5
In 1990, Milwaukee launched the nation's first voucher program providing publicly funded cash grants that enabled low-income students to attend the schools of their choice, public or private; the program's scope was extended to religious as well as nonsectarian schools in 1995. School choice, a concept adamantly opposed by most liberals and by the National Education Association, earns high marks in this detailed account of the Milwaukee experiment written by McGroarty, former special assistant to President Bush, deputy director of White House speechwriting and now a Washington communication consultant. Countering the charge that vouchers further harm the disadvantaged and tilt students into segregated schools, he observes that Milwaukee's voucher program has been extremely popular with African American and Hispanic families, and he finds a diversity of cultural viewpoints and ethnic composition in the schools selected by students and their parents. Vouchers, he maintains, offer disadvantaged students alternatives to inferior public schools that the well-to-do have long enjoyed. This study will fuel the debate but, given the intransigence of both sides, is not likely to win many converts. 35,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; first serial to American Spectator. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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