As the nation’s eyes turn to the Atlanta public school cheating scandal, it serves as a reminder about the dangers of monopoly Soviet-style public schools.

It’s been such a sad event to see the perp walk of distinguished educators in Georgia. Of course, they’re all innocent until proven guilty of having manipulated standardized test results to generate higher pay for themselves. They’re accused of making it look like students in failing schools are suddenly high achievers.

The lack of high achievement is a plague on the country, especially in low income areas.

The Horatio Alger story is so key to the fabric of our country. But it’s no longer just hard work, creativity or ingenuity alone that can elevate your station in life. Today, it’s all about education. It’s very rare that you can migrate upwards economically without education.

So the stakes are high. That’s why I’m an extreme advocate of school choice. I believe the traditional public school monopoly needs to be destroyed. Kid should have opportunities regardless of the household into which they’re born.

I love Indiana’s voucher system for private schools. It’s the kind of model that Wisconsin really trailblazed. Yet even in Atlanta, in the midst of this scandal, the school administration is trying to starve charter schools into oblivion.

Memphis is the latest place to blow apart their Soviet style school system. Memphis accounts for 80% of the lowest ranked public schools in Tennessee. So now the schools will be mostly run by charter operations. They’re hiring teachers from Teach for America and they’re eliminating tenure for teachers.

Being a teacher is a tough job. I taught in non-traditional school and actually started a non-traditional school when I was much younger. That’s why I believe so strongly in this issue.

Think this issue doesn’t pertain to you because you don’t have kids or your kids are all grown up? We spend huge money via our tax dollars -- whether you have kids or not -- to pay for a broken public school system. So this impacts everybody.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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