Vice season 6 episode 9: No Choice But to Choose and Rebel Republic


On the latest episode of Vice, the news team takes a look at the charter school movement and the state of the Central African Republic.

Ever since the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act, charter schools have been growing in terms of prominence.

The rationale is that by giving people choices between schools including private ones, individuals will choose the best ones and the intense competition between schools will raise the quality of education as a whole.

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Beginning in the early 1990’s, Michigan was one of the first states to strongly push for charter schools. This is especially significant because one of the biggest promoters of charter schools in Michigan is the wealthy DeVos family.

At present, Betsy DeVos holds the office of Secretary of Education, thus giving a charter school supports the best position possible to promote their agenda on a national scale.

Charter schools are a hybrid as they are privately run but they receive taxpayer funding. On the whole, charter schools don’t improve test scores and Michigan’s education ranking has suffered badly since strongly pushing them.

But they have also had the consequence of shutting down a considerable number of local public schools. The reason is simple; if people choose to use tax dollars for charter schools, that money becomes unavailable for other projects, mainly public schools.

The other story was a look at the civil strife in the Central African Republic. The country located between Sudan and the Congo has been racked by civil wars for years. Recently, the conflict has boiled over between Christian and Muslim groups. As a result, the central government is in a state of paralysis and various groups are exploiting the situation.

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This is mostly through small bands of armed militias trying to control various regions by providing security to the locals. Control of natural resources is also a factor in the fighting.

The Civil War in the Central African Republic has been made worse because the government seems unable to respond to the crisis. Because of this, the country is at risk of becoming a failed state.