The Fight Over School Choice Essay

1485 words - 6 pages

The task this week was to take an issue in education, research it, come to a conclusion as to what stance was winning the argument, and then make the case against the side that is winning. For this task, I decided to research a topic in which I have a very vested interest in. That topic is the right to choose the school in which your child or loved one can attend. The reason I have a vested interest in this is my uncle was part of a committee in Colorado which helped develop the Douglas County School District's, Choice Scholarship Program. This essay topic could not have had better timing as just yesterday a judge in the state of Colorado ruled against a lawsuit that would have ended the ...view middle of the document...

Which brings us to the major question of this essay, why school choice? Well, there are two main reasons. Excellence and school accountability. All parents want academic excellence for their children, that is without a doubt a universal truth in our Country. They also want to know that there is someone in their child's school who is accountable for achieving the academic standards in which they expect. Under a school choice system, a parent would have options, options they currently do not have. There would be consequences for a school's underachieving performance. Parents could pull their children out of poorly performing schools and take them someplace else. If utilizing this option leads to a mass departure from certain underachieving schools, schools will learn a very valuable lesson, and a lesson most schools do need to learn. Schools will either meet the challenge of the standards set by parents, or be forced to shutdown permanently due to poor enrollment levels The term school choice entails a large variety of choices each with their own set of positives and negatives and each with different approaches, and overall objectives. Although there is a great variety of school choice options for parents, I have listed the main types of schools inside of the school choice umbrella along with their definitions. Inter-district transfer is the choice for parents to move their child to another public school within the same school district. This is however, subject to whether or not the school deems it has room to take additional children. This school choice option allows parents the chance to move their child to a better performing school or one with a better location.Indra-district school choice allows parents to move beyond their neighborhood schools by letting them rank the top schools they'd like their children to attend. In its purest form, this policy creates an open district where students are assigned to a school based on a lottery and their personal ranking of schools. Magnet schools are designed to attract students from diverse social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. They focus on a specific subject, such as science or the arts; follow specific themes, such as business/technology or communications/humanities/law; or operate according to certain models, such as career academies or a school-within-a-school. Some magnet schools require students to take an exam or demonstrate knowledge or skill in the specialty to qualify to go to the school, while others are open to students who express an interest in that area. Charter schools provide alternatives to traditional public schools. In states with charter laws, students may enroll in a charter instead of the school assigned by their local school district. Unlike most public schools, charters don't usually have an enrollment cap and can recruit students from a larger geographic area. Parents can choose any charter school in their district (or even outside of it, depending on the state),...

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