One industry’s lesson on choice for another

Does the challenged newspaper industry hold lessons for public schools? At least one newspaper columnist believes so. Orlando Sentinel scribe Mike Thomas writes that newspapers responded to the competitive threat of the Internet too late. School districts, he writes, are repeating similar errors:

There was this fledgling enterprise called the Internet, but we were oblivious to the threat, even disdainful of it. Then, suddenly, our customers had unlimited choices for picking their news sources and advertising their used boats.

This created chaos in an industry that built massive printing presses and huge newsrooms based on a monopoly model.

Now, far too late, we are adapting.

I see the same dynamic in education with school choice …

… Fighting school choice ultimately will be as fruitless as dinosaurs whining about mammals. Public schools need to compete for every student, fill niches that aren’t being met and market their product. That is what their competitors are doing. The only way to survive is to become the choice in school choice.

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BY Adam Emerson

Editor of redefinED, policy and communications guru for Florida education nonprofit

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