Five Reasons Why School Choice Works

Here at Liberty Happenings, we know freedom always works. But to help you understand why freedom in education also works, I decided to list five reasons (plus a bonus) why school choice benefits everyone. Take a look:


 

1- It empowers all children

Poor children are often attached to a particular school because of their zip code. Wealthy families are able to enroll their children in a school that meets their children’s needs. Where the government monopoly loses influence, privately-run or independent public schools like charters step in. The competition between these schools offer enough options to children whose parents are unable to afford expensive institutions. Even government-run schools benefit!

If the goal is to allow all children to have access to good education, amplifying choice is the way. Look at the demographics of charter schools across the country to see for yourself how school choice empowers all children:

Screenshot 2015-02-07 at 5.28.38 PM

2- Parents love it

And fight for it! Watch the video below:

And that’s not all. When parents have more options to choose from, children with special needs are also empowered. In this article written by parents of a child with special needs, the case for school choice is built with one principle in mind: their child’s well-being:

“What the lobbyists and politicians seem to forget is that they are dealing with parents, not companies who will make judgment calls on sacrificing quality for lower cost. No, we want to give our kids the highest quality at whatever cost we can possibly afford. A vast majority of us parents with special needs students are not making decisions about our children based on some anti-public school vendetta for which we would sacrifice our childs best education just to make a statement. We want what is best for our kids, whether it be a public school education or a private one.”

For the entire article, click here. 

3- Children feel the difference

During a School Choice Week event run by the Franklin Center, journalists were able to talk to teens attending the Archbishop Carroll High School. During the visit, we heard about the school’s history as one of the first to open in the 195os as a racially integrated educational institution. Then, 76% of students were African-American while 13% were Hispanic. While the excited students showed their visitors around, the remarks made by a lively senior named Carter King reminded us of why a more personalized educational experience makes a difference:

“At Carroll, teachers want students to learn.”

When talking about their past experiences with the public school system, most of the students defended Carroll’s smaller classes, motivated teachers, and supportive environment. Just the kind of environment impossible to occur naturally in a government-run public school.

carrollstudents

Carroll High School students proudly posing after the interview.

You can read more about this visit by following this link. 

4- Teachers responding to the proper incentives help children to excel

As we’ve mentioned previously, children excel when they feel they can trust their teachers. While many professionals in public schools work hard in spite of the oftentimes subpar conditions, teachers who feel they need to prove to their superiors they are helping kids improve also excel.

During a visit to Achievement Prep in Ward 8, Washington D.C., journalists had a chance to ask the school’s chief academic officer about teachers, their performance, and how the school evaluates them. Due to the slightly more autonomous nature of the charter school system, Achievement Prep’s educators are often faced with challenges. Keeping their job means proving they are 100 percent dedicated to the school’s mission. When that doesn’t happen, the school’s board needs to let the unmotivated teacher go.

Incentives matter. When educators are motivated to teach and make sure their students are evolving, everybody wins. When teachers are unmotivated—mostly because they do not rely on their performance to keep their position—children don’t learn. Children who do not learn, do not excel.

5- It encourages accountability

When parents are directly involved in making decisions regarding their children’s education, they feel compelled to hold the school they chose accountable. They take part in meetings, become closer to their child’s teachers, and make sure to ask questions when needed. In an environment where teachers have fewer students in their classes, the closer relationship between educators and parents makes it easier for both parties to participate in the children’s development.

If parents becoming more involved is not enough for you to agree school choice encourages accountability, follow this link to learn more about a few other important factors.

BONUS REASON:

Steve Jobs loved it!

During a dinner with President Barack Obama, the late Steve Jobs defended competition in the school system and the parents’ freedom to choose what’s best for their children.

He said:

“I believe very strongly that if the country gave each parent a voucher…several things would happen. Number one[,] schools would start marketing themselves like crazy to get students. Secondly, I think you’d see a lot of new schools starting…. I believe that they would do far better than any of our public schools would. The third thing you’d see is…the quality of schools again, just in a competitive marketplace, start to rise.”

Do you agree with him?

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