The Pioneer Institute is on anything but a “quixotic quest” in seeking to have the portrait of Massachusetts’ 19th-century Know-Nothing governor, Henry Gardner, moved to a less conspicuous location at the State House (“School-choice group targets 19th-century governor,” Capital Source, July 29). Quixotic, of course, means wildly impractical, in the manner of the romantic hero of the Cervantes novel, “Don Quixote.” The description used by David Scharfenberg doesn’t fit here.

By initiating this wholly purposeful public campaign, Pioneer has invited residents of the Bay State to reread their history books and think about the ugly bigotry aimed at Catholic immigrants that resulted in legal barriers against public aid helping sectarian schools even indirectly. Having done that, they can then decide for themselves if it is healthy for a vestige of the Know-Nothing era to deny today's parents a full range of educational choice, including religiously affiliated schools.

Pioneer's campaign is inviting study, reflection, and critical thinking. There is nothing quixotic about that.

Robert Holland
Senior fellow
for education policy
The Heartland Institute
Arlington Heights, Ill.