Tuesday, January 31, 2017

School choice shouldn’t take away our neighborhood schools - The Hechinger Report

School choice shouldn’t take away our neighborhood schools - The Hechinger Report:

School choice shouldn’t take away our neighborhood schools
New Orleans to turn remaining five public schools into charters

 Integrity Schools of New Orleans, you have options. Our five school networks support teaching terminals at over 80 locations and automated teaching machines (ATMs) throughout the Crescent City. Choose between 16 different kinds of study accounts to serve your personal and professional goals. And we have alternative schooling services. So if you can’t get in one of one of our high performing networks, another may accommodate you to fit your family’s budget.
This isn’t a real advertisement. But if the mantra of school choice — Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos’ signature rallying cry — drowns out all critics, ads for great schools won’t be much different than ads for banks.
In New Orleans, the school board is poised to make this the first all-charter district in the country with its plans to convert the remaining five schools that it manages into charter schools. The five schools will form a network that will be managed by an organization created last week.
Though 95 percent of students already attend charter schools (families can apply to enroll their children in any public school in the city regardless of zip code), the move signifies how much choice has overridden innovation, a once-popular motto of charter schools.
Choice is actually an affront to what many education reformers were trying to innovate — compelling diverse families who live in the same neighborhood to send their children to a quality school.
DeVos has said that all families should have the opportunity to send their children to a great school, and not be stuck with a public school that might be failing. But if school choice is about creating quality options, then why is New Orleans taking away entirely the option of a neighborhood school?
Join the conversation later on Andre Perry’s radio show, “Free College,” hosted Tuesdays on WBOK1230 in New Orleans at 3pm Central/4pm Eastern 504.260.9265.
The reality is that people are tied to their neighborhoods and ethnic communities. But when you don’t value the culture and community that makes us human beings, it’s easy to create systems that separate School choice shouldn’t take away our neighborhood schools - The Hechinger Report:


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