(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
To take a bit of liberty with the Bard:
Sweet are the uses of brutality,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
So it turns out Florida parents are every bit as ruthless as Arizona parents in shutting down charter schools into which they do not care to enroll their children. The average years of operation for a closed FL charter was a mere 3.71 years (compared to 4 in Arizona) with an average of 113 students enrolled in the final year of operation (compared to 62 in Arizona).
Oh and just a reminder- Darwinian brutality practiced by parents towards schools seems to have worked wonders for the overall effectiveness of the Florida charter sector:
Can there be a conversation about extending meaning of school choice to mean more than charter schools? Croyden, NH, wants to continue using parents’ own taxmoney (after grade 4) towards their choice of private or public school (including Montessori). Why aren’t charter advocates who promote slogan of “school choice” interested?
This is an open question. Sandra
There’s nothing about parental choice that precludes other ideas from springing from the same source. It’s just that charters are relatively numerous so are the type of parental choice with which most people are familiar.
But it’s the concept of parental choice that’s pivotal. Once parents, or tax payers in general, get over the habit of seeing only school districts when they look at the public education landscape they’ll be able to see a lot more then just charters.
How do we start to broaden “school choice” to mean more than charters (public schools) or vouchers or ESAs (for private schools)? The basic idea is parents using their own school tax money (and whatever the local cost per student is) for whatever they want (public or private)? Maybe they want alternatives to their local high school? to a state test? to state standards?
How do we broaden school choice? You must mean “how do we broaden school choice more quickly” since that broadening is already in progress – https://www.edchoice.org/school-choice/school-choice-in-america/
On a societal scale this change is happening with considerable speed although I think we’re still closer to the beginning then the end of the changes. Keep in mind that the current system of district governance took about seventy years to become transcendent so twenty-two years, which is the number of years ago the first charter opened, is nipping right along.
There were a few points of light before then like Milwaukee’s voucher program which opened in 1990 but it was kept very tiny so more of an outlier then part of a trend. Michigan did try to pass voucher in 1978 and 2000 but both ballot initiatives failed.
But I think the edchoice.org page makes it pretty clear big things are happening and, at least as important, the opponents of parental choice seem to have essentially no defense against those changes.
I’m hoping for a Soviet Union-like collapse but the distributed nature of public education argues against that possibility. Still, a lad can hope.
ESAs can be used for both public and private options.
Matt, a lot of people are being misled if that is the case.
I’m shocked, SHOCKED to learn that there is GAMBLING in this casino! Community colleges, public universities, individual public school courses and online education fees for public providers are already included as allowable expenses in ESAs, and we are just getting warmed up.
Matt, this is a very solid pop culture reference. Apt but not obvious. Good work. You’re on the road to redemption.
I do my best to give our readers their money’s worth…oh…wait…
Steady work needed.