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Parents Know Best… When It Comes To School Choice

LauraCarno.com

By Laura Carno

August 13, 2016

Who knows how to educate your children better, you or some faceless bureaucrat at the Federal Department of Education?

While a few parents might want others to make key decisions regarding their child’s education, most believe they know their own kids better than any government official.

So how do parents choose the best schools for their kids?

We hear a lot about STEM schools that focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Does that mean charter and private schools are only for those who excel in certain subjects or have specific aptitudes? Absolutely not.

Take the example of Crossroads School in Longmont, Colo. Ross Izard of Colorado’s Independence Institute offers a brief description, where he describes Crossroads School as, “a school for kids who haven’t been able to find an educational home anywhere else.” Ross also wrote a longer profile of his visit to Crossroads.

It is … inspiring.

I dare a bureaucrat to watch Ross’s video or read his profile on Crossroads School and say that they know better than Dakota’s grandparents how to educate Dakota. And Crossroads isn’t the only school that takes on the kids who need a more unique approach to their individualized education.

I talk about many of these schools in my book, Government Ruins Nearly Everything. Spectrum School serves students on the autism spectrum. MAX Charter School teaches only dyslexic students.

Related: Moving Toward A Free Market In Education

The Department of Education didn’t come up with the idea for Crossroads or Spectrum or MAX. Nor do officials from the Department of Education have the emotional connections to think about students who learn differently.

Parents, relatives and community members of those who need their education packaged in a different way invented these schools.

Parents are best suited to make all kinds of decisions —the big decisions and the small decisions— for their own kids. Is there any decision a parent makes that impacts their child’s entire life more than how they are educated?

Education has been called the civil rights issue of our day. Students in failing schools are left behind, have a higher chance at remaining in poverty and a higher chance of landing in prison.

No parent wants that for their child.

The 2010 documentary “Waiting For ‘Superman’” details the heartbreak of students stuck in failing schools.

What can parents do?

They can get their kids out of failing schools and in to schools that work. Does that mean the move to charter and private schools will leave neighborhood schools behind? Not in the least.

Competition always improves all the competitors, not just the winner. If school choice is not possible in your state, parents have to demand their state lawmakers change the laws. The stories in “Waiting For ‘Superman’” are heartbreaking.
We can do better.

It’s your job —your obligation— to find the school, whether traditional neighborhood school, private school, charter school or homeschool, that will best educate your kids.

If your state doesn’t allow you to make that choice, remind your politicians that they are public servants who work for you, and that you demand they remove your barriers to choice.

This time, it’s really for the children.

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