Thursday, February 10, 2011

School choice is 'a social-justice imperative'

"Expanding school choice for all Oklahomans deserves to be the crown jewel of the new Republican governing majority," Jason Reese writes in this week's issue of the Oklahoma Gazette.
School choice already exists for those wealthy enough to pay for private school or move to a desirable location. My wife and I eagerly take advantage of the quality education at our Catholic parish for our children and could not be happier with it.

Unfortunately, many Oklahomans are unable to send their children to the school of their choice. Expanding their choices is a social justice imperative. From threats of violence, to mediocre outcomes, to the undermining of religious faith, there are many reasons a parent may wish to withdraw from the public system. For the sake of our state, I wish Superintendent Barresi well in her fights with the dinosaurs of the Board of Education, but I still would prefer to keep the money that I pay to the Oklahoma City public school system and apply it to my children’s tuition. School choice includes the public system as well; witness the success of charter schools.

1 comment:

Melissa Abdo said...

While I am so excited that OKC has found an answer for their problems through charter schools, I would ask for a small pause before insisting that solution is appropriate for all school districts.

Do you want "competition" for the traditional public schools? Then I hope you would join me in requesting our legislature allow the SAME level of local control and flexibility for traditional public schools as is granted charter schools. Without it, it's not really a fair game now, is it?

The phrase "Public schools are failing our kids" is a lazy statement. Ask why? They are certainly not running around making up their own rules. Could it have anything to do with the 927 pages of Oklahoma School Law that mandates virtually every move they make?

What if I put a ball & chain (school laws) around your ankle & then kept pointing out that you don't seem to dance as gracefully as your neighbor?