School Choice Question

Read Chapter 3 of the text ( A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Toughest Questions in K-12 Education by Frederick M. Hess and Pedro A. Noguera)

Watch the documentary “Waiting for Superman”(2010) written and directed by David Guggenheim. It follows the educational journey of Geoffrey Canada and others.

Write a one page reflection answering:

What is your position on school choice? Are you for or against? Why?

Time is of the essence is the first thought that popped into my head while I clicked the x before the credits rolled at the end of the documentary, Waiting for Superman. Time is of the essence for me in my own education as well as in the essence for my students. Time is of the essence if success is what we want. 

Nonetheless, concerning how we succeed ( in terms of which school has the road map and which doesn’t)  isn’t vital, as long as we get there. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said to the Sanitation workers in Memphis, “It really doesn’t matter…because I’ve been to the mountaintop … I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land”. In this instance, education is one of the tools used to get us to the promise land. We want our children to be educated and able to think critically.

There seems to be no right and no wrong in public vs private vs religious vs independent vs charter vs homeschooling. What we want is success for our students and our communities and we are willing to try what promises to work. 

The trouble comes when virtues are mentioned. We will never succeed being dishonest. 

Michelle Rhee put it best when she said, learning ‘comes down to the adults and accountability’. We know if and when we are doing right by our children. 

I am for whatever choice works. The documentary mentioned that leading up to the 70’s the educational system worked for America. The system produced great men like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Neil deGrasse Tyson. 

However, the times changed. The material King and Tyson learned while in school is still relevant; however, the systems under how they were taught has changed. 

I wonder now if America is still waiting for Superman. How much have COIVD changed the face of education. Will there be a documentary showing the state of the Education post COVID?

Noguera, co-author of A Search for Common Ground reminded in his letters that each system put out something good. Even in flawed systems, there is always space for a ‘David and Goliath’ battle. The problem is that war happens constantly and the Battles are won far and few in between. 

Noguera stated “ America’s inability to create schools where poor children of color are learning has more to do with our nation’s history of segregation and unequal treatment than anything else”. 

It’s no wonder the nation was thriving in Education during segregation and 20 years after. Blacks were learning under oppression and White were the oppressors succeeding. It’s been over 60 years since Brown vs. Board and the fire is still boiling. The people haven’t learned to work together. Policy, law, Government,  officials are caught up in greed and comfort to even think about ways to fix the education system. Even though the laws came into place to end Jim Crow the spirit if separation is so great in America. The same evils that once allowed America to thrive are the same evils that are now killing America.

I wonder, are we going back into a complete segregated educational system? (We were never completely integrated) Organic personal school improvements, vouchers, charter schools, educational savings account and more are terms I’ve heard in conversations about the future of Education… when listening to policy makers, reading literature, and sitting in class. However, in the real world, around parents of the majority; parents are now in the same routines as before COVID.

You see, so already, we have started the conversation about school choice without the voice of the below the poverty line or lower class parent. So, where do we go from here?