Britain's Brand of Choice

George Bush's ideas about school choice bear a strong resemblance to portions of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's 1988 Education Reform Act. Under this plan, England's education standards were unified under a national curriculum. District lines within the public system were eased to allow open enrollment at any of the 23,000 primary and secondary schools, and schools are assuming greater control over their own budgets, without interference from district authorities. Most pointedly, the government pledged that state money, an average of $2,550 per student annually, would follow pupils to their public school of choice.

The Thatcher plan also offers a...

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