Why School Choice Is Not A Thing
The promise, the dream of school choice is a system in which every family can choose from a wide range of schools, selecting the one that best fits their own child. If we would just break the public school "monopoly," the reasoning goes, even poor families would have the same wide range of choices available to upper and middle class families.
This is not a true thing. It is not even an accurate portrayal of what the choice debate is really about.
First, we know that even in a choice system, choices would be limited. Chris may want to go to a school with a strong left-handed underwater basket weaving program, but if Chris is the only student in a few hundred miles who wants such a program, no school is going to emerge to meet that too-small market demand.
The market is going to include many students and families with many desires or preferences for programs and schools, but the market is only going to respond to some of that market. The range of available choices will also be limited.
In a traditional public system, the range of choices is handled under one roof. The public school picks and chooses and offers a variety of options based both on what students sign up for and what the school can afford. This can actual serve a student like Chris well-- the school may still not have enough students to run a left-handed underwater basket weaving program, but there might be broad CURMUDGUCATION: Why School Choice Is Not A Thing: