The Tide is Turning on School Choice

During my career, I met with thousands of parents. I have never met a parent who did not want for his or her child what I wanted for my own sons and now my grandchildren, a quality public school education. In fact, I have met far too many parents in neighborhoods with failing schools who lacked the financial resources for private school, the political connections for magnet schools, or the luck of winning the lottery for a charter school. (Philadelphia has more than 30,000 children on charter-school waiting lists.) Providing these captive parents with broad school-choice options is the only chance to improve public schools as a whole. Expanding charter schools and passing school-voucher legislation, as being voted on right now in Harrisburg, will end the public school monopoly that has failed low-income neighborhoods. Allowing parents to vote with their feet and letting some education funding to follow children to new schools is the drastic measure necessary for improving the public-education system. The more choices parents have, the better education their children will receive

This is part of an OP-ED written by Arlene Ackerman, former teacher, administrator, and chancellor of the public school system in Philadelphia.