January 23, 2013

Education News: Why We Need School Choice

In my recent report, “Why We Need School Choice,” I make the case that the traditional system of education is unresponsive to parents, and that school choice is the best way to ensure parents actually have a say in how their child is educated.

. . . opponents of school choice often hail the traditional system where children are zoned for a local public school based on their address. Some view this method of delivering public education as the model because democratically elected officials control the schools on a local level. Though democratically controlled local school districts meet the needs of many students, they simply cannot satisfy the needs of all families. Many families, mine included, have found the traditional system to be frustrating and unresponsive.

My wife and I had a problem with the public school that our children attended. Our problem was not violence or student achievement. By all accounts, this was an average school in an average district in an average state. We simply did not agree with the “discover learning” approach the district was using to teach math.

We met with the teacher, principals, and even the district math specialist, to no avail. We felt our only options were to stick it out or to pull our children mid-year and place them in a private school, which was a financial burden.

There are many reasons one might support school choice. In Missouri, choice has been seen as a way to allow kids to escape failing urban schools, but school choice is more than that. In our case, it meant being able to send our child to a school that was more in line with our desires.

I hope you get a chance to read the full story. If you have stories similar to this, please leave a comment or feel free to share them with me at james.shuls@showmeinstitute.org or on Twitter @Shulsie.

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