This is FRONTLINE's old website. The content here may be outdated or no longer functioning.

Browse over 300 documentaries
on our current website.

Watch Now
the battle over school choice: A report on the debate over what's needed to improve America's public schoolsphoto of kids in a cafeteria

photos of al gore and george w. bush
what the candidates say

Video of their interviews; commentary by their education advisors and other experts.
join the discussion

Share your stories and ideas about public school reform.

just how bad are the public schools?
Analyses on whether it's a crisis, and a look at the 1983 'A Nation At Risk' report which first sounded the alarm.
is choice the answer?
Information and critiques on vouchers, charter schools and for-profit academies.
what's happening in my state?
State-by-state resources on school reform initiatives.

video excerpt

tapes & transcriptspress reaction

"The Battle Over School Choice" is a PBS Democracy Project/Election 2000 Special.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Support thought-provoking independent journalism like FRONTLINE by making a pledge to your local PBS station today.

what do the candidates say? ·  discussion ·  how bad are public schools? ·  is "choice" the answer? ·  my state
video excerpt ·  interviews ·  links ·  synopsis ·  tapes & transcripts ·  press
FRONTLINE ·  pbs online ·  wgbh

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation
Cafeteria Photo Copyright © Owen Franken/Corbis

The Battle Over School Choice

With more students than ever enrolled in kindergarten through high school, education is now a top voter concern. What's needed to improve our public schoolsó-better teachers, smaller classes, greater parent involvement, higher standards, more tests? Or, is privatization the answer? Democrats and Republicans differ sharply on the hot button issue of school vouchers and whether public funds should be used to pay for private or parochial schools. FRONTLINE explores the heated political debate over the reform of public education and investigates the spectrum of "school choice" optionsó-from vouchers to charter schools to for-profit academiesó-and their growing popularity in troubled inner cities. FRONTLINE also interviews presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush about their views on reform initiatives and looks at their track records on improving public schools.

published may 2000