"Rick Hess offers a new origin story with alternative facts to the idea of school choice, attributing it to Thomas Paine &John Stuart Mill.Thomas Paine lived before there were any public schools in the US, and Mill, never had any contact with the American idea of free, universal, democratic public schooling. In my experience as a historian of education, there was zero support for school vouchers in the US in the 19th century, but at that time and well into the twentieth century, American public schools were broadly admired and considered a high point of our democratic experiment, even though they were racially segregated and had many flaws. southern politicians wanted school choice to maintain racial segregation. Period. School choice and segregation go together like ham and eggs, a horse and carriage. To deny it is akin to climate change denial."