the battle over school choice

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In this excerpt from "The Battle for School Choice," FRONTLINE explores the controversy over school vouchers. Cleveland city council member Fannie Lewis argues in favor of vouchers, claiming that they are the last chance to save at least a few children from a failing public education system: "It's like a burning house. You know, what do you do? Let the house burn down and kill everybody or go in there and save who you can?" She joined with businessman and educational entrepreneur David Brennan in the campaign for a voucher program in Cleveland, which currently provides almost 4,000 students with tuition vouchers for private schools. Opponents to vouchers, including former New York Chancellor of Public Schools Rudy Crew, argue that they drain resources, good students, and involved parents from already beleaguered public schools, and most importantly, abandon the students remaining in the public system to a substandard education.

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