Andrew Coulson
Michael Q. McShane

Every once in a while I stumble across a sentence and think man, I wish I’d written that.

One of my favorite examples of this, and a passage that I have quoted more times than I can remember, was written by Andrew Coulson, the former director of the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, who passed away over the weekend. It came from a book he contributed to in 2002. Here’s what he wrote:

We are all losers when our differing views become declarations of war: when, instead of allowing many distinct communities of ideas to coexist harmoniously, our schools force us to battle one another in a needless and destructive fight for ideological supremacy.

Andrew’s writing was the first to introduce me to the idea that school choice might not just be good for kids academically, but could help us create more harmonious communities. If we don’t have to fight each other over what gets taught in history or science class, and we respect our fellow citizens’ rights to instruct their children in the way that best fits their needs and their values, we can get along better with each other. What a great idea.

We truly do stand on the shoulders of giants.  God bless his memory.

About the Author

Michael McShane
Senior Fellow of Education Policy

Mike McShane is Senior Fellow of Education Policy for the Show-Me Institute. He is a former high school teacher and earned his PhD in Education Policy at the University of Arkansas. Before coming to the Show-Me Institute, Mike worked at the American Enterprise Institute as a research fellow.