Today's Newsletter: School Choice or Segregation? - Tech Learning

Today's Newsletter: School Choice or Segregation?

It seems "school choice" in many urban areas is more a new round of segregation than true choice.
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Guest post by Steven Baule, Superintendent at Muncie Community Schools, Indiana: On Monday, Kevin Hogan mentioned the Secretary of Education’s speech at DeVos in the Desert. Her prepared remarks are available on the US Department of Ed website. I understand it is easier to "provide choice" than to fix many poor performing schools. Ms. DeVos also seems to think the historic Black colleges were schools of choice. It seems "school choice" in many urban areas is more a new round of segregation than true choice. There are a variety of opinions and data on the issue including the Brookings InstituteEdWeek, and EdChoice all have differing opinions. As a nation, we don’t argue that we should privatize police departments or county highway departments when they underperform. Why the desire to do so in education? Each and every child deserves a high quality education in America. We need to fight to ensure that each child has that option--not only those children whose parents have the wherewithal to select a good school. A quality public school system is essential for democracy to continue. I am not opposed to private schools or religious schools, but as the current across the country is to significantly reduce educational funding, it is essential to make sure the public school system is robust and thriving. Many of us are too young to remember what it was like under the doctrine of separate but equal. A visit to the National Park Service’s Little Rock Central High School site can remind us that even after Brown v. The Board of Education was handed down by the US Supreme Court, it took more than a decade and quite a bit of pain to integrate Central High School. Our public education system needs much work, but without it, we will struggle to remain a functional democracy.