U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings once said, "School choice is part of the strategy to give every child an excellent education."
Secretary Spellings will be the featured speaker tomorrow at a joint meeting of the Oklahoma House and Senate Education Committees. One of the reasons choice is so important -- and one hopes Secretary Spellings will mention this tomorrow -- is that, as Kevin Carey has pointed out, the folks in charge of Oklahoma's government-run schools aren't leveling with parents when it comes to school performance. Mr. Carey is the author of the OCPA study Hot Air: How Oklahoma Inflates Its Educational Progress Under No Child Left Behind.
For example, according to Mapping Oklahoma's Educational Progress 2008, a new publication from the U.S. Department of Education, only 27 percent of Oklahoma's fourth-graders are proficient in reading. But Oklahoma's education officials would have you believe an astonishing 88 percent of our fourth-graders are proficient in reading. They are full of hot air, as you will see if you read Mr. Carey's report.