Friday, January 6, 2017

Ed Notes Online: Aim Of School Choice Is To Limit Choice - Norm in The WAVE

Ed Notes Online: Aim Of School Choice Is To Limit Choice - Norm in The WAVE:

Aim Of School Choice Is To Limit Choice - Norm in The WAVE


http://www.rockawave.com/news/2017-01-06/School_News/Aim_Of_School_Choice_Is_To_Limit_Choice.html

AIM OF SCHOOL CHOICE IS TO LIMIT CHOICE

School Scope
By Norm Scott
I’m continuing my series of columns on the voucher/school choice issue which will come to the fore under the Trumpadministration especially with his educational secretary nominee, Betsy DeVos, a fierce opponent of public schools. The very concept of a public school system is under attack which connects to the general anti-government movement. Over this series I am attempting to point out the fallacies.

One of the major talking points we hear from “choicers” is that the public schools are a government monopoly. David S. D'amato, policy advisor at the libertarian Heartland Institute, wrote Americans have forgotten the destructive philosophy upon which the government education apparatus was built. The centerpiece of that philosophy is the fallacy that centralization and monopolization equate to quality and results.

Centralized? We have one of the most decentralized school systems in the world with each city, town or county in theoretical control of their own schools and budgets – not always a good thing in some places – but stay with me. Here in NYC the system is so big it could use some decentralization down to neighborhoods, but not the total balkanization where each school is an island and competes with the other nearby schools for the best performing students and the same funding. Ironically, it has been state and federal governments that have tried to use the choice movement to override local controls by force feeding charter schools and common core into communities. Thus we saw as a counter reaction, the growth of the optout movement that led to 20 percent - 225,000 students – whose parents refused to let their kids take the state tests last year.

Let’s talk about the “monopoly” charge that we often heard from the very people who ran the NYC schools for 12 years under Bloomberg – Joel Klein and Dennis Walcott, both of whom lined up a 100 percent with the choicers. There is much irony in 
Ed Notes Online: Aim Of School Choice Is To Limit Choice - Norm in The WAVE:



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