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Peter Greene read an article in Forbes about the “nine things you need to know about school choice,” and he uses it to critique the current narrative about the wonders of choice.
Yes, there are more charters than ever before. No, charters do not have higher test scores than public schools. Yes, there are more students using vouchers than ever before, but they account for only 100,000 students out of 50 million, a tiny percentage. Eight states don’t allow charters (though there are efforts in some of the eight to authorize charters).
He sees the article as evidence of the “long game” of choice proponents:
Just keep insisting something is true long enough (public schools are failing, vaccines are dangerous, fluoride makes you communist, The Bachelor is a show about finding true love, charter schools are popular and successful) and eventually it enters Conventional Wisdom as, at a minimum, a “valid alternative view.” It’s not necessary for the things to be true, or even supported by facts– just keep repeating them uncritically and without argument, and eventually, they stick.
I beg to differ. Lies don’t stick over the long term if critics like Peter continue to expose them as lies. Over the long term, facts prevail. The Big Lie technique ultimately is revealed, and people recognize it as such. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t keep this blog going day after day.