In Support of National School Choice Week

Jan 31, 2013

This week, we recognize National School Choice Week. Celebrating the opportunity for parents to make decisions best suited for their kids causes us to pause and take a look at the many education headlines around the country. Reflecting on what has happened in the past year quickly emphasizes why school choice is so important.

Back in September, the only Chicago public school students in class were those attending charter schools due to the teachers union strike. Two weeks ago, New York City students lost out on $250 million in state aid because the teachers union would not agree to include student achievement as a measure of success in teacher evaluations. And, just this week, teachers in Seattle refused to administer required assessments to their students. Less than 50% of Washington state eighth graders perform at grade level in math and yet the importance of assessments is overshadowed by politics—how does this benefit the students in question?

We cannot allow our children to be trapped in failing schools just because of their socioeconomic status or the zip code of their residence. We must set our kids and their future up for success. We must provide parents with school options so they can make the best choice for their children based on their individual needs. The status quo has failed too many children for far too long. Until we provide parents with options, there is no incentive for the protectors of the status quo to change.

The reality is that those who are comfortable with where we stand realize that public opinion is increasingly in favor of more school options for children. As we recognize National School Choice Week, let’s remain steadfast in our goal—to ensure every child has the opportunity for an excellent education. 

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