Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Our Choices During “School Choice Week” | The Merrow Report

Our Choices During “School Choice Week” | The Merrow Report
Our Choices During “School Choice Week”

This short piece attempts to make two points. First, public education must stop trying to ‘get back to normal,’ because “normal” isn’t anywhere near good enough to justify continued large public investments of taxpayer dollars in public education. As widespread school reopenings draw closer, I believe that educators face decisions that will, at the end of the day, determine whether public education survives. And, if they mess it up, Jeff Bezos is lurking in the wings!

A second point: The young people who will be returning to classrooms have endured (and are still living through) an unprecedented time of crises–not just COVID-caused isolation but also economic hardship, political turmoil, and often severe stress in their homes, including (perhaps) abuse. For those reasons, simply trying to “get back to normal” in classrooms is a terrible idea. It’s time to step up for our children, meet them where they are, and do what’s right. Stop blathering about ‘learning loss’ and ‘closing the achievement gap’ and other diversions!

Point One: As schools prepare for reopening, traditional public schools and the men and women running them are facing serious choices.  Ironically, this week, January 24-30, happens to be “School Choice Week,” a gimmick created ten years ago by conservatives to advance the charter school and voucher movements.  I.E., “School Choice Week” exists to undermine traditional public education.

(SIDEBAR: In case you are curious, the ‘School Choice Week’ website does not list its funders, but, as Valerie Strauss reported in the Washington Post,  “According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the National School Choice Week website listed the CONTINUE READING: Our Choices During “School Choice Week” | The Merrow Report