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Donald Trump and the Republicans at the convention think choice is a magic word.

I watched, probably more than I should have, the republican national convention. I heard lots of speeches that covered lots of subjects but the ones that interested me the most were the ones about education.

When Donald Trump Jr wasn't calling teachers lazy and selfish and blaming tenure for the problems in education, several of the other speeches including the one from the top of the ticket himself Donald Trump mentioned school choice, as if choice will lead us into the promised land.

They say choice like it is a magic word or that it has some special power, that parents just having choice will improved education and I don't get it.

How is diverting money and resources from schools to charter school owners bank accounts going to improve education?

How is choice going to make a hungry kid feel full or a scared kid feel safe?

How is choice going to make apathetic parents care or give parents to exhausted, uneducated themselves or who don't have time to help their kids with school the ability to do so?

How are schools not run by educators or classes not taught by real teachers going to improve education?

Parents shouldn't have to wade through charlatans and con men in the hopes of finding a great school, there should already be a great school in their neighborhood and that is the promise we should be making.

Dr. Raymond of the Stanford Credo Charter project recently said, I actually am kind of a pro-market kinda girl. But it doesn’t seem to work in a choice environment for education. I’ve studied competitive markets for much of my career. That’s my academic focus for my work. And (education) is the only industry/sector where the market mechanism just doesn’t work. I think it’s not helpful to expect parents to be the agents of quality assurance throughout the state. I think there are other supports that are needed… The policy environment really needs to focus on creating much more information and transparency about performance than we’ve had for the 20 years of the charter school movement. We need to have a greater degree of oversight of charter schools. But I also think we have to have some oversight of the overseers.

When the Trumps talk about how fortunate they were and how they want poor and mostly minority children to get a great education I believe they are straight up lying. They don't want to send poor kids to schools their kids went to, the ones with small classes and rich curriculums, no they want to put them in McCharters run by their hedge fund friends.

Choice for the Trump kids means schools that want for nothing, choice for our kids are schools lacking resources barely scraping by.

In Florida 318 charter schools have taken public money and closed leaving children and communities in a lurch. I wonder how many of those parents wish they would have made a different choice.

Choice is not a magic word that will solve our problems, its nothing more than code for privatization and our children are the ones who will pay the price.

Finally choice just for the sake of choice is a bad choice, we need to stop ignoring poverty and give our kids, students and teaches the resources they need to be successful and anything else is the equivalent of magic beans or wishing upon a star.

1 comment:

  1. Vitti & Gary are all about school choice as long as there are no state mandates that come along with it. Why close a school(excuse me rezone a school)only to send kids to other underperforming schools? Why not try to improve those failing schools? What kind of message does that send to students, parents, and teachers? It says we're more concerned about school grades than working to improve your school. But I learned a long time ago that it's easier to tear someone down than it is to build them up. The district has taken the easy way out.