Parents have an expectation and a right that their kids are educated in accordance with their values and priorities. When that is not happening, they get justifiably angry. The root of the problem is that government schools are not capable of accommodating the spectrum of values present in the out modern society. They are not designed that way. They are designed to regress to the mean.
Government schools are political organizations that are governed by people who are chosen through the electoral process. By design, the government schools represent the values of the majority of the voters. When there are broad shared values that are held by the vast majority of the community, this system works fine. But when there are a wide variety of values to be represented, an elected government can only really represent some assemblage that adds up to 51% of the electorate. This leaves a significant portion of the community marginalized, frustrated, and angry. We see this reflected in all of our elected governments right now from Washington to school boards.
While we do not have a fix for this political frustration for state or national government, we do have a fix with schools. School Choice is the answer for how we can focus on education while still honoring the broad array of values that parents want to be reinforced with their children in school.
School Choice is not a conservative issue. It used to be considered a liberal issue. Many of the early advocates for School Choice were liberals who were fighting to give families who were not being represented in the power structure a chance to choose a school that will serve them better. These marginalized subsets of the larger community were unable to exert enough political power to change the government schools. School Choice prevented their children from being pawns in a political power struggle
That is what the School Choice debate is really about: power and entrenched power structures. The government school establishment, from the local school districts to the Department of Public Instruction to the teachers’ unions, is powerful. School Choice is a challenge to that power because it transfers power to parents. As Snodgrass so eloquently explained, parents who pay get a say. School Choice gives all parents the means to have a real say in how schools are run and what is taught
School Choice changes the dynamic by forcing schools — government and private — to be responsive to the families they serve. The discussion can be about education instead of a struggle for power. If one family is unhappy about a school teaching CRT or having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, they can have the means to choose a different school that more closely matches their priorities and values. One should not have to defeat their neighbors in a political battle for their school to educate their children in a way that supports their values.
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