Thank you, Mr. Shane Phipps, for your service to the community through education. But I do have a different opinion regarding your criticism of school choice. It's a shame that education has been held under oppressive government control for so long. It seems that there's no way to navigate back to the days when parents, religious groups and private school operators provided education throughout the country.

As columnist Sam Blumenfeld describes, the early "structured," locally-supported school systems were instituted to ensure that "children learned to read the Bible, and were prepared to go on to higher education." That "system" developed a highly literate society before the formation of what we know as public schools.

In the early 1800s a growing religious liberalism movement in higher education began to spread the idea of central government-controlled education through the country. In this irresistible, relentless social and political push, traditional home and local school systems were squashed in favor of government controlled education by 1870. The Department of Education came in 1979.

The U.S. Constitution says nothing about education. Yet our most out-of-control bureaucracy is the "mess" that public schools have become. I paid for home-schooling my daughters. And I paid taxes. We all pay. Teachers who care about education give their best in a public school or private. Let parents choose, and the system will improve. Teachers will still be paid. Maybe good teachers should start good schools on their own that give parents more options. Think of the possibilities.

Richard Smith, Anderson

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