The Battle for Public Education

By Nora Carr

In politics and propaganda, lies told often enough become truth. Big lies --  such as the canard that public schools are failing --  often are the most believable.

That could be why 28 percent of North Carolinians believe graduation rates are decreasing every year even though the state posted its highest graduation rate ever --  at 77.9 percent --  just last year. Even more frightening, the same public opinion poll indicated that 42 percent believe that public schools are failing and need to be overhauled.

With these kinds of numbers, it is not surprising that 38 percent of North Carolinians either agreed or strongly agreed that taxpayers without children should not have to pay for public schools, even though 81 percent see education as an investment in the future.

Chances are your state reflects these issues as well. In the battle for public education, charter schools are winning. Any alternative, it seems, is better than the current system.

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