Monday, January 27, 2014

Choices abound - why is k-12 education the exception?

It's National School Choice Week - seven days devoted to sharing the story of parents who were able to make a choice in the best interest of their children. It's also a time to remind everyone that ALL parents should be able to choose the education that best meets the needs of their children.

As I've previously written, school choice takes many forms. This is not an anti-public schools effort as charter schools are public and traditional public schools are often the preferred choice for parents.

Choice is everywhere in our lives. When you go to the grocery store, there are shelves of bread - everything from traditional white to low-fat, high-fiber, cinnamon raisin. Do bread makers think everyone should be forced to choose the traditional white bread?

When you go to the mall there are multiple stores carrying clothes and multiple choices within those stores. When you go to a department store, look at how many types of socks are for sale - even basic white socks have multiple options!

We're not expected to settle for one single option for cars, furniture, tools, computers (laptops or tablets), printers, cameras, internet providers or even browsers. Restaurants, coffee houses, cell phones, gasoline, ... the list goes on where choices abound.

Think about all the choices you make in a day - from coffee in the morning to the television shows you watch at night.

We even have a choice when it comes to college: on-line or brick-and-mortar, two-year or four-year or a combination of the two; opting for the school that has the best reputation in the field we want to follow.

Why is k-12 education the exception?

Why is a choice in educational options the one area where a variety of options is fought?

This is the question those who oppose school choice need to answer. If it really is "for the children" we should not restrict their ability to find and receive the education that best fits them, their learning styles and their goals.

Join with others as we amplify choice and ensure that opportunities are available to all - and that education is not based upon something so arbitrary as a zip code.

For a list of school choice events in your area, go here to enter your zip code.

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