Rotherham on choice and empowerment

Andy Rotherham spent his weekly real estate on describing his method of choosing a school for his children. Of particular note to redefinED are his comments on choice, equity and empowerment:

… the amount of choice is still limited by administrators (who alone get to decide, for instance, whether to open a second Montessori-style school in a district even if the first one has an insanely long waitlist) and legislators (who can do things like refuse to let charter schools into districts like the one I live in). Our school district does offer some choice, but it’s called “controlled choice” — we were able to pick only from a subset of the schools …

… It’s amazing how routine it has become in public education to deny people choice and power. Giving more Americans this kind of empowerment matters to my wife and me out of basic fairness, but also because in ways large and small, our fate is bound up with those of millions of parents around the country who are growing frustrated with our public system …

… In other words, so far it’s worked out for us, but I’m struck — as both an analyst and parent — by how much public education, an institution that is predicated on a common understanding of the collective good, does things to undermine the very support it’s dependent on to thrive.

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BY Adam Emerson

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