A Voice for Choice

Standing United for Each Citizen’s Fundamental Right to Public School Choice

A Voice for Choice movement affirms the fundamental right of all parents and students to public school choice. Freedom of choice is a fundamental unalienable right of every U.S. Citizen.

We believe in the fundamental, unalienable right of every U.S. citizen to exercise their liberty without government interference, that is, their freedom of choice to pursue a life of happiness, as guaranteed in our United States Declaration of Independence and Constitution. This freedom of choice includes having equal access, in all communities, to a public school choice, whether district-operated or public charter school, that will support and guide each student to reach his or her greatest potential in life.

We the People: Our Constitutional Rights

The Declaration of Independence Affirms Our Freedom of Choice

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, when in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (people) are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Natural rights are unalienable rights, that is, those that are not dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws).

These absolute rights of individuals may be resolved into the right of personal security, the right of personal liberty, and the right to acquire and enjoy property. These rights are declared to be natural, inherent, and unalienable.

Atchison & N. R. Co. v. Baty, 6 Neb. 37, 40, 29 Am. Rep. 356

By the “absolute rights” of individuals is meant those which are so in their primary and strictest sense, such as would belong to their persons merely in a state of nature, and which every man is entitled to enjoy, whether out of society or in it. The rights of personal security, of personal liberty, and private property do not depend upon the Constitution for their existence. They existed before the Constitution was made, or the government was organized. These are what are termed the “absolute rights” of individuals, which belong to them independently of all government, and which all governments which derive their power from the consent of the governed were instituted to protect.

People v. Berberrich (N. Y.) 20 Barb. 224, 229; McCartee v. Orphan Asylum Soc. (N. Y.) 9 Cow. 437, 511, 513, 18 Am. Dec. 516; People v. Toynbee (N. Y.) 2 Parker, Cr. R. 329, 369, 370 (quoting 1 Bl. Comm. 123)

According to thelawdictionary.org, constitutional liberty or freedom is defined as follows:

“Such freedom as is enjoyed by the citizens of a country or state under the protection of its constitution, the aggregate of those personal, civil, and political rights of the individual which are guaranteed by the constitution and secured against invasion by the government or any of its agencies.”

People v. Hurlbut, 24 Mich. IOC. Am. Rep. 103

uslegal.com defines personal liberty as follows:

“Personal liberty is the liberty of an individual to behave as one pleases except for those restraints imposed by laws and codes of conduct of the society in which one lives to safeguard the physical, moral, political, and economic welfare of others.”

Blank
The Statue of Liberty

Personal Liberty Includes Freedom of Choice

The United States of America was one of the first nations to be founded on principles of freedom and equality, with no king and no hereditary nobility. According to the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, all men (people) have a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. But this declaration of liberty was troubled from the outset by the presence of slavery. Slave owners argued that their liberty was paramount, since it involved property, their slaves, and that the slaves themselves had no rights that any White man was obliged to recognize. The Supreme Court, in the Dred Scott decision, upheld this principle. It was not until 1866, following the Civil War, that the US constitution was amended to extend these rights to persons of color, and not until 1920 that these rights were extended to women.

“Liberty is a kind of freedom, whether it’s freedom from tyranny, freedom from confinement, or simply the freedom of choice.” —  vocabulary.com

All students Deserve an equal voice for school choice

The Need to Uphold and Defend Public School Choice

A Voice for Choice upholds the fundamental, constitutional right of every California parent and student to exercise their freedom to choose, as well as to have equal access and opportunity to choose, a free public school that will best prepare them for post-secondary college or career pathways and life success.

According to the ACLU (https://www.aclusocal.org/en/know-your-rights-free-public-education-california-0)

“The California Constitution has guaranteed children in our state a system of free schools since 1879. (California Constitution, Article IX, Section 5.)”

The California State Legislature has declared, since 1992, that an integral part of that “system of free schools” shall include public charter schools. The Charter Schools Act of 1992 was enacted by California to provide choices and opportunities for teachers, parents, students, and community members in public education, as cited in Education Code section 47601, to benefit as follows:

  1. It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this part, to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, pupils, and community members to establish and maintain schools that operate independently from the existing school district structure, as a method to accomplish all of the following:

(a) Improve pupil learning.

(b) Increase learning opportunities for all pupils, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for pupils who are identified as academically low achieving.

(c) Encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods.

(d) Create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the schoolsite.

(e) Provide parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.

(f) Hold the schools established under this part accountable for meeting measurable pupil outcomes, and provide the schools with a method to change from rule-based to performance-based accountability systems.

(g) Provide vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public schools.

(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 34, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)

“Liberty is a kind of freedom, whether it’s freedom from tyranny, freedom from confinement, or simply the freedom of choice.” —  vocabulary.com

Student Focus Video

 

Maria Caposio Teacher TrainingMaria Caposio

Maria is currently doing an internship for special needs children and hopes to become a Special Education Teacher. She was accepted and will be attending Grand Canyon University in the education field.

The Majority (2/3) of the American Public Supports Parent and Student Public School Choice

According to a recent Walton Family Foundation website posting (October 2016), nearly two-thirds of Americans favor permitting parents to select any public school in their community, support that’s relatively consistent across racial groups, according to PDK. The same survey found that 61% of public school parents say they have enough information to pick the “best choice” school for their children, compared to 33% who say they don’t have enough information.

Why Upholding and Defending Public School Choice is Essential for the 21st Century

Choice is a Fundamental Principle of Our Nation’s Constitutional Commitment to Every Individual’s Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Every individual residing in the United States of America is guaranteed by our Constitution the fundamental right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That fundamental right is founded in liberty, that is, the right and freedom to pursue one’s unique dreams and to choose one’s own greatest path in life. That fundamental right includes the right to choose one’s own unique path in education. Public charter schools provide parents, students, teachers, administrators, and communities that fundamental right to education choice. Upholding and defending our country’s fundamental, individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is why we need public school choice!

The Absence of Choice is Oppression

Choice is a fundamental principle that should not be marginalized. Political forces attempt to coerce the public into believing that the principle of choice is selective. In other words, it applies to some things but not to others when it comes to individual rights. For example, how can one rationally justify that choice applies to one group’s fundamental rights, but not to parents and students regarding their education decisions? Does the public want a public school system that denies the individual rights and choices of parents and students and instead creates an oppressive, one-size-fits-all education model that fails to prepare up to half of our children for 21st century challenges? Fighting against oppression and oppressive systems, in any form, is why we need public school choice!

Monopolies, Monopolistic Systems, and One-Size-Fits All Models Are Never In The Best Interests Of Individuals

Monopolies fundamentally lead to oppression of individuals. Can anyone honestly name any monopolistic product or service industry that optimally serves its customers? No? That is because it does not exist. Monopolies shall never be motivated to keep quality high, prices low, and services efficient. By nature, monopolies coerce individuals to conform to their systems. Their motivation is power and the bottom line, not quality, and definitely not what is in the best interests of individuals. Individuals must stand up and fight against monopolies to preserve their right and freedom of choice. The same is true in public education. Fighting against district-operated monopolies and monopolistic one-size-fits-all systems as the only option for students is why we need public school choice!

Education Must Embrace Innovation and Diversity of Thought

Without competition from outside forces to drive change, district-operated schools alone lack the motivation to adapt, innovate, and improve their programs to meet the needs of their students. According to the bestselling book “Disrupting Class” by Clayton Christenson, this dilemma is actually true across all industries. What drives profound change across all industries is, according to Disrupting Class, a phenomenon known as “disruptive innovation”.  Profound change comes from people outside the system who have not been “programmed” to believe that things can only be done a certain way, and who can see new and different possibilities. In the education system, the ability to envision new possibilities is coming primarily through public charter schools. The ability to create innovation, new possibilities, and new ways of delivering education to meet the needs of 21st century students is why we need public school choice!

Education Must Be a Service-Driven Enterprise For the 21st Century

Conformity of education customers (students) to a monolithic, industrial age education system rather than the education system adapting to the needs of its customers is antithesis to quality service principles. Most district-operated public schools still predominantly mandate conformity to their system in adherence to the century old industrial age model. Public charter schools have a proven track record of adapting their education programs and services to the needs of their customers. This is especially critical for our ever-changing 21st century challenges and needs. For our education system to successfully meet the needs and demands of the rapidly changing 21st century and our students, it must move from a largely industrial system paradigm to a service-oriented vision. A public education system with a service-oriented vision is why we need public school choice.

Public Education Must Provide Alternative Choices for Parents and Students

It is estimated that up to 30-50% of all public school students are either being outright failed or significantly underprepared in the basic fundamental reading, writing, communication, and math skills required to meet the rigorous demands of the 21st century workforce and climate. Many of these students are simply allowed to fail outright with no recourse, and the blame for these students’ failures is placed on the students rather than where it rightfully belongs, that is, on the system itself. These students both need and deserve a second chance to choose a school that is a better match for their potential success. Having alternative public school models for the growing percentage students who are either being failed or underprepared is why we need public school choice!

Public School Choice Helps to Raise the Bar of Public Education Quality

Choice and competition are the only true forces that drive higher quality, effectiveness, and efficiency in all product and service industries. In public education, public school choices help drive higher quality for all students in all communities.

A Quality Education is a Fundamental Individual Right

Parents and students have both the fundamental right and deserve to have diverse public school choices, both within and beyond district-operated public schools, to find the best and highest quality school that matches each student’s needs and interests. A quality public education system is why we need public school choice!

Public School Choice Supports Equal Rights, Equal Access, and Equal Opportunities

Quality education options for ALL students of ALL ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic circumstances in ALL communities are realized through choice. Many cite equal access to quality education across all communities as the civil rights issue of the 21st Agreed! However, the great equalizer for equal opportunities for ALL children to quality education across all communities is CHOICE. Equal access to quality education for ALL students is why we need public school choice!

Parent and Student Choice Holds the Public Education System More Accountable to Provide Quality Education Options

Uphold and defend the rights of parents and students to choose the public schools that provide the best quality, the greatest satisfaction, the safest environments in which to learn, the best track record of education results, the most educational options and choices, and the programs that best meet their needs and it naturally holds the entire public education system more accountable. Job #1 of the public education system must be to put the needs of its customers, that is, parents and students FIRST. Greater accountability in public education that benefits all students is why we need public school choice!

Public Charter Schools Are Granted Greater Flexibility to Innovate in Exchange For Greater Accountability Results

If a school’s very existence depended on its ongoing ability to uphold a high standard of both academic and fiscal accountability, it would be naturally motivated and driven to continue improving its services to ensure that its students are succeeding. This accountability contract with the state is, unlike district-operated public schools, unique to public charter schools. As a result, public charter schools help to drive new, different and more innovative ideas to meet the specific needs and interests of all students, and particularly for those students for whom district-operated public schools are not a good match for success. This innate drive towards innovation benefits the public education system as a whole and the millions of students who are seeking to benefit from it. Cultivating new and innovative education models and programs to benefit students in the 21st century is why we need public charter schools as an integral part of public school choice!

Public Charter School Flexibility Produces Innovative Results Such as Personalized Learning

The flexibility to innovate that is granted to public charter schools has helped to foster students-first, student-centered, 21st century education service models such as Personalized Learning and Blended Learning models. These new and innovative, student-centered education delivery models have proven highly responsive in meeting the needs of hundreds of thousands if not millions of students, by creating and tailoring education delivery to every students’ individual needs, interests, and aspirations. Without the public charter school option, these models would not be in place now to benefit students for whom the traditional century-old, classroom-only model is not a good match for success. The creative development of models like Personalized Learning and Blended Learning to benefit the millions of students for whom a classroom-only model is not a good match for success is why we need public school choice through public charter schools!

A Voice for Choice Supports Personalized Learning

A Voice for Choice supports the fundamental, constitutional right of every California parent and student to exercise their freedom to choose as well as to have equal access and opportunity to choose a free, student-centered, Personalized Learning Public Charter School that is a better match than a traditional, classroom-only education model to best prepare them for post-secondary college or career pathways and life success.

We are the leading voice for the Personalized Learning public school choice. We believe that 21st century education must be service-driven to the needs of its customers, that is, students and parents. We believe that 21st century education must be student-centered, flexible and adaptable to the needs, interests, goals, dreams, and aspirations of every individual child.

There are a growing number of students for whom a rigid, one-size-fits-all classroom-only model is not a good match for success. Tragically, these students are being allowed to either fail outright or fall through the cracks without being adequately prepared in the basic math, reading, writing, and communication skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. Personalized Learning is proving successful in preparing these students for 21st century college and career pathways. Please refer to our section on Personalized Learning for more details on how the Personalized Learning model works.