Monday, May 22, 2017

For and against school choice

Kevin Carson writes:
Right-libertarian shills for school charterization like to use the euphemism “school choice,” which is about as misleading as referring to proprietary walled garden platforms like Uber as the “sharing economy.” The charter school movement’s inroads occur, almost without exception, in places where choice has been suppressed by the state. The Charter Mafia hates choice. Charterization, where it occurs, is imposed by a process about as free and democratic as the National Party coup that established Apartheid in South Africa. ...

That’s how the “school choice” sausage gets made. The main forces behind it are corporate lobbyists and their pet “nonprofit” foundations working to impose their agendas through government with the help of their special insider access, and to line their pockets from the public treasury. They achieve success mainly in areas where elected governments have been suspended and replaced with appointed dictatorships that share their agenda. And for all their rhetoric of “empowerment” and “choice,” they do everything in their power to keep the public out of the policy process and minimize public scrutiny.
He has various complaints about charter school oversight, but does not really explain his problem with "choice".

In many areas, charter schools offer parents and students a public school choice that would not be available otherwise.

Here is a good audio debate over the question Are charter schools overrated? While there were disagreements about the management and effectiveness of charter schools, little was devoted to what seems to me to be the crucial issue: they offer a public school choice.

The libertarians don't really like any govt activity, whether it be charter schools or regular public schools. The leftists like centralized brainwashing of the next generation of students. If the charter schools are superior, they don't like the inequality, and otherwise they don't like the loss of govt control.

Choice is really the key issue. Do you believe all kids belong in the same cookie-cutter schools, or should they have the freedom to choose alternatives?

Some parents and students may well have reasons for preferring a school that do not necessarily apply to other students. Our whole economy is based on different ppl having different needs and preferences. Why should schools be any different?

Choice also underlies debates about Common Core. Leftists believe that the state should decide what is best for all kids, and then everyone should do that. Others wants some choice in the matter, and do not believe that they should have to prove superiority according to externally-defined criteria.

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