On Sunday, liberal comedian and “destroyer” of all worlds John Oliver took school choice to task, pointing out a number of financial abuses shifty charter school operations have perpetrated over the years. The segment was very anecdotal and, as Nick Gillespie dissects in Reason, left out a lot of positive evidence for charters.
What I found most problematic, however, was Oliver’s moral argument against markets in education. Despite having promised at the top of the segment that he would not be arguing against charters as a concept, the funny man seemed to be doing precisely that in his criticism of remarks Ohio Governor John Kasich made about choice.
Kasich said, “We will improve the public schools if there’s a sense of competition. Just like a pizza shop in the town, if there’s only one and there’s not much pepperoni on it, you can call ‘til you’re blue in the face. But the best way to get more pepperoni on that pizza is to open up a second pizza shop, and that’s what’s going to improve our public schools.”