Friday, January 25, 2013

Let's All Celebrate School Choice Week


It's National School Choice Week and I believe if there is one thing worth celebrating, it's school choice.  Choice means a great deal in education and even more amazing, it means different things to different people.  I think it's important that we celebrate school choice in all it's forms.

Charter schools across this country can celebrate school choice because they have the right to choose if they are public schools or private schools.   An NLRB decision this month declared charter schools private schools making it much harder to unionize.  However, a Supreme Court decision on recess appointments means that decision no longer is in effect.  I think that charters work best as public schools when it comes to tax dollars and private schools when it comes to labor and transparency.

This week we also celebrate the right of charter schools to choose who they want to educate and to get rid of students that they are tired of trying to teach.  I think we all should celebrate this aspect of school choice.

Of course whole states get to join in the party this week.  Take North Carolina for example where parents can choose what race they want their children educated with.  Anybody who saw the movie Remember the Titans saw just how tough integration was in the South, but just imagine how much better that movie would have been as two movie---one about a plucky white football team and another about a scrappy black football team. 

In New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago they are choosing which schools they want to support, which ones they want to continue to neglect, and which ones they want to turn over to private operators.  They way I look for it, if a middle man works in health insurance, why wouldn't it work in education?

Of course, with choice comes foolish choices.  In Seattle some teachers have had the temerity to attempt to choose which assessments to give to their students.   Fortunately, freedom can only go so far.  Have a great school choice week everybody!

Monica

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