Monday, March 24, 2008

School Choice

Yesterday's Easter dinner attendees included two family friends from the education world -- a current elementary teacher and a retired teacher -- who do not support any form of school choice. Most readers out there will already know that most etiquette counselors tell us the topics that should be avoided over dinner include:
  • politics
  • religion
  • sex

Given our different worldviews on school choice "politics" was clearly not a topic at this Easter gathering. While Easter is of course a highly important religious holiday that wasn't really a topic that could be discussed since I always highlight the fact that Jesus Christ did not like monopolies (the "temple" -- think about public schools today) and of course said there was a limit to government power ("render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto the Lord what is the Lord's.............") so that would have placed us on the same path to disagreement during the dinner conversation.

That left "sex" which was clearly not going to be discussed.

At the end of the day I spent my time pondering school choice issues on my own since the teachers walking around the house provided constant reminders of our past debates on how best to reform our education system.

So here is my question -- if school choice is such a bad idea or simply un-needed for today's students why should we allow "school choice" for teachers?

By this I mean -- teachers are free to move from school to school as opportunities present themselves -- yet students (in the vast majority of cases) are required to attend the local government school provided in their neighborhood. To be consistent why don't we simply require teachers to teach in the schools in their neighborhoods -- regardless of supply and demand or personal interests?

Choice should be universal,


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