SCHOOL CHOICE-FEAR NOT!
I've been a bit amused by the push back by a group of fellow teachers regarding school choice. School choice is defined by FOCUS ON THE FAMILY as "School choice is a nationwide movement that empowers parents by enabling them to make the best possible choice for their children's education. In short, it puts power in the hands of parents to decide which type of education best fits the needs of their particular child – whether that is a public, private or religious institution, or educating their child at home." They go on to clarify "we believe school choice represents the cutting-edge future of education. It breaks up the current bureaucratic monopoly controlling our education system and places the power squarely into the hands of the people to whom it belongs: parents."
As educators, we should concern ourselves first and foremost with the students in our immediate care. Yes, we should also concern ourselves with the profession as a whole, but first and foremost should be our students. School choice includes public, private, charter, magnet, virtual, as well as, homeschool options. All are viable options for parental choice. In the USA, the government need not select an option for a student. This is the parents responsibility.
School choice provides options for ALL families regardless of their socio-economic status. Charter schools and magnet schools enable parents to make an appropriate tuition-free choice for their children. Scholarships and vouchers also enable parents to make appropriate tuition choices regarding private schools. Some states offer a wide variety of choices.
Encourage school choice options in your state. Teachers should support each other. Each and every teacher care about the students in their class. We should not get hung up on public vs. private or traditional vs. charter. Let's support each other and continue caring for our students.
Suzanne Rogers, M.Ed.
District Director of Professional Development, AP English Teacher, ELA Coach and cradle United Methodist. http://rogerssuzannem.blogspot.com