"School choice” is one of those word combinations that lead people to think in sweeping generalities that align with their own beliefs about how schools should look. Political ideology gets in the way, and the zero sum game mentality takes over, leaving no room for nuance or compromise.
Some hear the phrase and immediately think “corporate profiteers,” “privatizers,” “vouchers,” “religious zealots,” “anti-union,” “competition,” and now even “Donald Trump.”
Others hear “states’ rights,” “flexibility,” “non-union,” “market driven,” “one size doesn’t fit all,” “autonomy,” and “innovation.”
Parents aren’t fixated on any of these things. Those who have chosen to exercise school choice don’t think in this binary way. They make choices based on their children’s best interest, overall well being, and future opportunities, and they give nary a thought to politics or governance models or the pontificating of folks on either side of the school choice debate. While folks fight over charters and vouchers policies, parents fight for their kids.
Parents want good schools with good teachers. They want their children to have limitless opportunities. And they need to know that their children are safe.
Moreover, our kids’ needs change. I speak from experience. I have three children who have attended our...