By John Hood
RALEIGH — As a policy analyst and opinion journalist, I have spent much of my career advocating the expansion of choice and competition in education. I purposefully use both of those terms, because I think that families making choices and schools competing for students are distinct but mutually reinforcing mechanisms for improving educational outcomes.
Parents and students should have as many school choices as possible because that increases the likelihood of a right “fit.” Schools vary in leadership, philosophy, culture, emphasis and facilities. The needs of students can vary widely, too. Some thrive in large environments while others feel safer and more valued in smaller settings. For some, schools dedicated to shared religious