See This Movie, and Feel Why We Need School Choice

Forbes 2 months ago

My expectations for movies with a message—especially a message of which I approve—are low. Message flicks of any bent too often succumb to tedious repetition of simplistic morals, and libertarian types are not heavily represented among the best filmmakers. This is why I was surprised by the new movie Miss Virginia, which I just saw at a preview screening. It tells the story of Virginia Walden Ford—whom, full disclosure, I know—and her crusade to create the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program, better known, simply, as the DC voucher program. The movie does not preach, it lets Walden Ford’s story sear in its moral: parents need choice, and children cannot wait.

Miss Virginia takes place in early 2000s Washington, especially the long-depressed southeast section, and depicts the struggles of Walden Ford and other families. In neighborhoods beset by poverty, crime, and drug addiction, the public schools are rendered inhospitable to learning, and sometimes outright dangerous. When things turn especially threatening for her son, Walden Ford toils desperately to get him into a private school and keep him there. But though it costs much less than the public schools spend per pupil, she fails. And the battle for choice begins.

The movie, produced by the Moving Picture Institute and starring Orange Is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba, is good cinema: clear visuals, a compelling soundtrack, realistic dialogue, and light-handed exposition leavened with a bit of genuinely funny, but tonally appropriate, comic relief. This isn’t an earnest-but-amateur effort to make a statement, with the quality of the film placing a distant second to the message. It takes some dramatic license here and there, but the movie is grounded in the basic but powerful reality of Walden Ford’s story.

And what is that reality? Ultimately, the same, simple reason we need school choice: parents, families, and communities must be able to choose the schools they think are best for their children rather than being powerless while their kids suffer and their tax dollars go to a single system of government schools. All that Walden Ford, and so many who have followed her in DC and beyond, have wanted, is to put their children into safer, kinder, more responsive schools, and on paths to better lives.

This is not, by the way, a condemnation of public schools. In many places, and for many people, they may well be the best choices. It is having the power to choose, not the type of school chosen, that matters.

Those who see Miss Virginia, opening broadly on October 18, will grasp these things not because the moral is beaten into them, but because the movie, and the struggle it deftly depicts, makes one feel why choice is crucial. A child unable to get a better education, especially when it is there for the taking, is heartbreaking. School choice is key to ending that pain.


Source link
Read also:
New York Post › Opinions › 0 month ago
Elizabeth Warren proudly opposes school choice — for your kids. She apparently could afford to take her own son out of the public-school system and enroll him in a private school, yet her education policies would deny that choice to less wealthy...
The New York Times › Finance › 3 weeks ago
Fans of the movie “High School Musical” have been coming to see the Utah school where the movie was filmed more than a decade ago. The trend could grow with the premiere of Disney’s new streaming service series based on the story.
Fox News › Politics › 2 weeks ago
On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., told a school choice activist in Georgia that she had sent both her children to public school. On Friday, her campaign told The Washington Free Beacon differently.
CBS News › 2 weeks ago
According to a recent CBS News poll, 57% of voters in early states feel former Vice President Joe Biden is a "safe" choice, as opposed to just 22% for Senator Elizabeth Warren, although more people found Warren to be "exciting." CBS News director of...
The Sun › Lifestyle › 0 month ago
THE People’s Choice Awards are over for another year and with it comes a whole new bunch of winners. We have the FULL list of who won what at the glitzy event in LA. MOVIE Movie of 2019: WINNER: Avengers: Endgame Toy Story 4 Captain Marvel Fast...
The Guardian › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
In some parts of rural Suffolk children on one side of the road pay £750 for school travel – while neighbours go freeParental choice now depends on ability to pay in some rural areas, where a new school bus policy to cut costs is splitting families...
USA Today › Lifestyle › 2 months ago
In rural parts of the South, school choice has long been linked to private segregation academies opened for white families fleeing desegregation.
Forbes › 6 days ago
It is the same old problem of school choice; a community cannot fund multiple parallel school systems for the same amount of money that used to fund a single system.
The Daily Beast › Entertainment › 1 week ago
Cameron McDonaldTwinkle all the Way, the feel-good (really, it does feel very good) Lifetime Christmas movie that premiered last weekend, is in many ways like so many other holiday movies: sappy, cute, kind of silly, and best consumed with a glass of...
Business Insider › Entertainment › 1 month ago
Kevin Smith told Business Insider why he referenced "Dogma" in his new movie, "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot," though he doesn't own the rights to it. Smith's 1999 movie starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as renegade angels is owned by Harvey and Bob...
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google
OR