(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
It’s easy to send a torpedo slamming into the USS Rahm below the waterline on this, but for the record, I think Emanuel should make schooling decisions as a father, rather than as a Mayor or the leader of the Chicago Public Schools. I also however think that if choice is good for his family it is also good for all families. Morality is best when private matches public.
I wouldn’t put my children in CPS, neither would you. Barack Obama also of course chose an elite private school for his daughters. They made the right decision as fathers, hopefully they will come around as leaders.
Others already have done so.
Back in 2006, we parental choice supporters in Arizona were thrilled when Janet Napolitano became the first Democratic governor to sign a new parental choice law.
Since 2006, it has become old hat.
Since 2006, Democratic governors have signed 9 private choice expansions, including a new voucher program in Oklahoma last year and a new tax credit in North Carolina this year. This comes in addition to widespread and growing support for charter schools, which to its credit includes the administration.
Jay has correctly noted in the past that the idea that parents should have the ability to choose schools is now only a debate over the degree to which this should happen, within the bounds of respectable opinion. Oh sure, there are plenty of Ravitch-zombies out there crying in their beer, but the reason these people are angry is precisely because serious people have tuned them out.
Many great things that have happened over the last two years. It is worth noting however that the average low-income child in this country is attending a school almost entirely dictated by their zip code. That average low-income child finds themselves being taught by a teacher who will neither be rewarded for excellence, nor will be dismissed for ineffectiveness. Mayor Emanuel obviously didn’t want this for his own children (who would?) and I hope, that as the leader of the Chicago Public Schools, he will do everything in his power to see that those less fortunate than himself also enjoy expanded opportunities.