Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jersey Jazzman: School "Choice": A Failure of Honesty and Will

Jersey Jazzman: School "Choice": A Failure of Honesty and Will:

School "Choice": A Failure of Honesty and Will



It's starting to feel like the Summer of School Choosiness.

Here's Nick Kristof, making the case that privatizing Liberia's schools is the only sensible way to ensure they are stocked with books.

Here's Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, telling her personal story of how her mother snuck her into a "better" school, which widened the "narrow funnel that leads to the nation’s elite institutions" for her.



Here's a story on Megan Kelly's new show (which, like the rest of America, you almost certainly missed) about a "successful" charter school in Philadelphia. Give reporter Craig Melvin credit: he does push back on the platitudes that are standard fare for such reports, even if he misses one of the biggest parts of the story (hang on...).

And of course we have the steady stream of laudatory essays about charters and school vouchers from outlets like The 74 and Education Post. Similar to the pieces above, they almost all revolve around stories of how students are being saved from "bad" schools because they are being given a "choice" to attend "good" schools.

The clever thing about this construction is that anyone who challenges the narrative is immediately put on the defensive: Why are you against helping people get a better education? Why don't you care about these children? It must be that you care about your own interests more than theirs...

And so on. It's a neat rhetorical trick, but it keeps us from asking and answering the Jersey Jazzman: School "Choice": A Failure of Honesty and Will:


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