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Monday, January 26, 2015

School choice week, really bad or the worst thing ever?

It is school choice week and I think people should know school choice is a scam. Parents shouldn’t have to pick a “good school to attend”, just like they shouldn’t have to pick clean water or air, or dependable police and fire departments.  A high quality and uniform public schools system is a contract its citizens should have with each other and it is also what the Florida constitution calls for.

School choice is really a euphemism for school privatization and the people behind the movement hope you don’t notice. In Florida over 270 charter schools have taken money and closed leaving communities in a lurch. Some job the parents sending kids to those schools did right? Charter schools are businesses and their primary goal is to make money not to educate our children.

As for schools that take vouchers we really have no idea how they are doing because the system is set up that way. Sure some might be great but there are undoubtedly terrible ones too and rather than weed out the bad apples the supporters of choice just bang the drum of expansion.  

The most maddening thing is public schools do better as a group than charter schools and voucher schools fight against accountability so we have no idea how they are doing but our leaders in Tallahassee tell us we need more of them not less.  

Instead of diluting our resources and making charter school and private school operators rich for doing a substandard job we should invest in our public school system and make it one we can all be proud of. Choice just for the sake of choice is a poor choice indeed.

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