Tim Urban

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Public education: Poison or promise?

The co-authors of this commentary are Tim Urban, president of Urban Development Corporation and a former Des Moines City Council member, and Lawrence Streyffeler, a retired Des Moines Public Schools elementary school principal.

The recent attacks by parents and politicians on our public schools are poisoning public education. Many states have recently empowered private education institutions by supporting charter schools, homeschooling, and state-funded vouchers for students to attend private schools instead of their local public schools.

Proponents argue that the declining quality of student performance in public schools warrants giving parents a choice where to educate their children. They often cite parents who want to enrich their children’s education, but cannot pay for it.

Such student outcomes are self-fulfilling In Iowa when public schools are starved.

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