January 21-27, 2018 celebrates National School Choice Week. While we pause to celebrate the tremendous value and benefits of parent and student choice in education to help ensure that all students have equal access across all communities to the variety of education programs that can help guide them to a successful and productive life, we also recognize that there are an ominous number of opposing forces to school choice that are actively seeking to undermine and eliminate choice, particularly directed against public charter schools. This site goes into great detail about these opposing forces and why. To commemorate National School Choice Week 2018, I have prepared the following two editorial briefs, one that summarizes many of the advantages to school choice entitled “Why Upholding and Defending School Choice is So Critically Important”, and the other that is a call to action to those who strongly believe in school choice to stand up and defend school choice against those who are seeking to eliminate it entitled “The Destructive Forces Opposing School Choice Threaten Parent and Student Freedom and Liberty”.
Why Upholding and Defending School Choice Is So Critically Important
CHOICE is synonymous with FREEDOM and FREEDOM with LIBERTY.
Our country is founded upon upholding and defending the individually rooted, universally-based, fundamental rights of We the People to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Founders of our great nation knew that the powers granted to governments and systems must be strictly limited in order for its citizens to exercise their freedom of choice, which is why our government was established to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people”. Because when the powers and impositions of government and systems over the people get too overbearing and too invasive, it invariably and inevitably leads to the elimination of individual freedoms and liberties and results in oppression. The absence of choice for the people is OPPRESSION of the people.
So why is upholding and defending choice in education so important? Here are some of the many reasons why:
Choice ensures that the fundamental rights of individuals to our country’s founding principles of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are upheld and defended within our education system.
Children are individuals, not identical sponges on an assembly line. Each and every child has a unique spark of special gifts and talents with great productive potential. Choice ensures that the educational system as a whole addresses students as unique individuals.
Every child’s education journey and path is unique to that child. Choice ensures that the education system embraces diversity, flexibility, and adaptability to be student-focused for the sake of all students’ success.
The education system is entrusted by the people to serve the needs of the people. Parents and students best exercise their voices of satisfaction through their choices. Choice therefore holds the education system accountable to the people it is intended to be serving.
Through choices, those within the education system must strive to provide better quality education programs to both attract and meet the needs of their customers in order to survive. Choice therefore raises the bar of education quality.
Similarly, choice ensures that those within the system are driven to continuously improve and innovate to meet the changing and evolving needs of its customers.
Finally, if we want to move towards social equality in education, we need to ensure that every student has equal access in all communities to the variety of educational choices and opportunities they need in order to succeed. Choice ensures that, directionally, we continue to close the gap toward equal access and opportunity to support education success for all students.
In closing, may this celebration of National Choice Week inspire you to continue to be driven to stand up and defend education choice for the sake of our children, for the sake of our communities, and for the sake of our country. Stay involved, be vigilant, and act now to make a positive difference. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you. We all need to stand united and put the needs and interests of our children first. As Mahatma Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
The Destructive Forces Opposing School Choice Threaten Parent and Student Freedom and Liberty
CHOICE is synonymous with FREEDOM. FREEDOM is synonymous with LIBERTY.
Our country is founded upon upholding and defending the individually rooted, universal, fundamental rights of We the People to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Founders of our great nation knew that the powers granted to governments must be strictly limited in order for its citizens to exercise their freedom of choice, which is why our government was established to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Because when the powers and impositions of government over the people get too large and too invasive, it invariably and inevitably leads to the elimination of individual freedoms and liberties and results in oppression. The absence of choice is OPPRESSION.
Yet, even now, in this great country founded upon the rights of individual freedoms and liberties, we are facing an intensifying battle over choice in education. A war is being waged by those in the status quo public education establishment to undermine and eliminate parents’ and students’ freedom to choose any public education option that is outside the absolute control of their district structure establishment. Their motives are all about power, control, and money, and not at all about the best interests of parents and students to choose an education program that best meets their needs. That war is being waged on the surface against your public charter schools because charter schools are proving highly successful. Those waging this war are using their powers and influence, funded by your public tax dollars,
to buy the favors of legislators to pass anti-charter school bills;
to pay law firms to intimidate with cease and desist letters and frivolously sue public charter schools;
to pay law firms to devise unreasonable justifications to deny new charter school petitions from proven successful charter school educators and administrators;
and on a multi-million dollar, sinister, negative, and lie-riddled propaganda campaign intended to smear, demonize, and villainize all public charter schools and turn public opinion against them.
Some believe that this battle waged by those in the status quo establishment is simply against charter schools. It is not. Their intent runs much deeper than that. Their purpose is to eliminate altogether any public education choices for parents and students beyond the complete and absolute control of the district establishment. In other words, to reinstate their absolute monopoly over you, the people. That is synonymous with OPPRESSION.
Only you, the people, can stop them. How?
You have the power to vote. Make education choice your top priority. A healthy and prosperous country depends on a well-educated population. Our education system has been declining for decades and failing millions of students annually and we need to draw the line now. Do your due diligence when you go to the polls to vote. Do not simply vote party lines. Vote only for those elected officials and school board members whose positions and track records are pro parent and student choice and pro public charter schools.
You have the power to let your voice be heard. Write letters to your local district superintendents, school board members, and your elected representatives demanding that they support parent and student choices both within their district programs and by authorizing several local public charter schools. Stand up and speak on the importance of choice during public comment at your local school board meetings. Call and visit your local, regional, and state elected officials and demand that they support choice in public education including public charter schools.
You have the power to protest. Stand up and defend school choice against those who seek to deny and undermine it.
You have the power to get involved. Get involved in your local community parent action committees that help support pro-choice and pro public charter school candidates. Run yourself as a pro-choice candidate for a seat on your local school board to stand up and defend parents and students fundamental rights to public school choice.
This is your call to action. Recognize this battle as a major threat to your fundamental rights as individual citizens to freedom and liberty. Be inspired to be the change you wish to see. Take action now to make a positive difference in the lives of our children and in our communities.