Forget the Politics. Choice Matters

I follow many educational policy blogs. Too many probably, but I love the vitriolic debate and the numerous talented writers. Too often though it seems we forget that children are at the center of of all the debates.

Take school choice. You read the blogs and school choice is either the most American of all free-market solution that will erase the achievement gap; or school choice is nothing more than a corporate ruse designed to disempower organized labor and destroy the right to free public education.

For the kids though choice is about the future. How empowering it must be for families to choose a high school that meets the needs and interests of the students.

I witness this empowerment today at New Haven Public School’s High School Fair hosted at Southern Connecticut State University.

Over two days all of the 8th graders of NHPS will have the chance to learn more about the district schools, technical high schools, magnet schools, and some charter schools in NHPS.

The fair was sponsored by NHPS, SCSU, and the GearUp/Reach Up program here at Southern.

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As an educator it made me so proud to see students demonstrating such agency. I saw students lining up for schools that celebrated arts. Others flocked to schools that emphasize environmental learning. Many went to learn more about some of the most rigorous high schools in New Haven.

The number of choices available to the students amazed me. It made me step back and want to put the rss feed away for a few days. Let’s forget about test scores, tevals, and testimonials. Let us forget the politics and focus on the kids. When you do you realize choice matters.

[related kingpro]

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