My Turn: SB 193 abuses the meaning of choice

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 12:45:50 AM. I have for decades worked diligently for school reform, for opening up the public school system to innovation and personalization of learning for students with diverse needs and interests. As a professor of education at Northeastern University, I...
I have for decades worked diligently for school reform, for opening up the public school system to innovation and personalization of learning for students with diverse needs and interests. As a professor of education at Northeastern University, I supported the creation in Boston of “pilot schools,” which are charter schools created within the public school system, where teachers and parents are free to change the structure and the curriculum in ways that benefit students. “Choice” is an important concept in children’s learning. Kids need to make choices about how they can best respond to the learning goals set for them. Teachers need to make choices about how best to nurture learning for diverse children. And parents need to make choices when deciding what kind of environment they feel their children can learn best in. Senate Bill 193, the “voucher bill,” currently before the New Hampshire Legislature, abuses the meaning of “choice.” It requires the public to pay the cost whenever parents choose to transfer their children from their public schools to private schools, including religious schools, or to home school them. Promoting “choice” through vouchers is destructive, since it undermines our current system and increases the already heavy burden on local property-tax payers. For every child who transfers from a public school to a private or religious school, the local public school loses $3,500 and must make up that money by raising local property taxes. Thus this bill would...Read more
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