Opinion
School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor

‘School Choice’ Is Not a Neutral Descriptor

January 17, 2017 1 min read

To the Editor:

As a matter of editorial policy, please stop using the misleading descriptor “school choice” in your reporting, unless you’re quoting someone or you put the term itself in quotation marks.

“School choice” is not a neutral term. So-called “school choice” diverts taxpayers’ money from public school systems to private, for-profit institutions, which only accept and retain students of their choosing, and whose governance is not elected by the taxpayers. The term is most often used by detractors of public education to create the illusion that the only way parents and students can have a range of program options is to go outside of the public school system.

As a descriptor, “school choice” ignores the reality of the wide range of excellent public charters within school systems across the country. It also fails to acknowledge the constriction of program options that public school systems can offer when their funding is siphoned off for private use, often leaving families with fewer, and less diverse, choices than before.

Instead, please consistently use “public money for private schools” or “privatization.” Each is only a bit longer, and a lot more accurate and unbiased.

Barb Clark

English Teacher

West Anchorage High School

Anchorage, Alaska

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the January 18, 2017 edition of Education Week as ‘School Choice’ Is Not a Neutral Descriptor

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Recruiting and Retaining a More Diverse Teaching Workforce
We discuss the importance of workforce diversity and learn strategies to recruit and retain teachers from diverse backgrounds.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
Student Well-Being Webinar Boosting Teacher and Student Motivation During the Pandemic: What It Takes
Join Alyson Klein and her expert guests for practical tips and discussion on how to keep students and teachers motivated as the pandemic drags on.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Holistic Approach to Social-Emotional Learning
Register to learn about the components and benefits of holistically implemented SEL.
Content provided by Committee for Children

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District
Principal
Meredith, New Hampshire
Inter-Lakes School District
Elementary Principal
Washington State
Wenatchee School District

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor Are NOLA Charters a Mixed Bag?
To the Editor:
The opinion essay by Douglas N. Harris about how New Orleans’ education reforms post-Katrina are relevant to the COVID-19 era (“As Schools Recover After COVID-19, Look to New Orleans,” Sept. 30, 2020) highlights some basic improvements in the NOLA system but downplays the most significant aspects of those changes: the impact on people of color.
1 min read
School Choice & Charters Home Schooling Is Way Up With COVID-19. Will It Last?
The shift could have lasting effects on both public schools and the home-schooling movement.
10Homeschool IMG
RyanJLane/E+
School Choice & Charters Opinion Challenging 3 Common Critiques of School Choice
A new volume from Corey DeAngelis and Neal McCluskey challenges some of the familiar but suspect assertions that pepper public debates about school choice.
3 min read
School Choice & Charters Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read