by cheri block sabraw
Are you going to be buried or cremated when you die?
You can make that choice now, or let your relatives make it for you.
Whatever choice they make doesn’t affect you any more anyway.
But In the marketplace of goods and services for the living, most of us have choice.
One of the most important decisions many of us have to make concerns health care. Which doctor will operate on our knees? Our hearts? Which doctor will administer chemical therapy?
Many of us conduct research about medical centers and doctors, ultimately choosing the place and the person whom we believe we can trust with our lives.
Who will care for our teeth? Who will service our cars? Who will cut our hair? And draw our blood and package our food and cut our nails?
But when it comes to public education, we do not have a choice about who will teach our child. We cannot do our research and then choose the English teacher in whose classroom our high school student will sit in for 180 days. Most of the time, the computer chooses our child’s teachers and schedule.
As students ourselves, we have all had that one magical teacher who inspired us, maybe, to pursue a course of study. Some of us have been lucky enough to have 3-5 magical teachers.
Alas, we have all experienced more than one terrible teacher from whom we learned nothing.
Our children and grandchildren, those raised in the 70’s until the present time, have had a few great teachers, some good teachers, and many bad teachers.
You do not have a choice because of the powerful and member-driven teachers’ unions, which stymie school choice at every corner of every street in every town across this country.
Their predictable narrative emerges:
Poor black urban children will not be afforded the educational opportunity they deserve.
Good teachers will lose their jobs to teachers to those at charter, private, and religious schools.
The entire public school system will be stripped of the funding necessary to educate United States citizens, (and a number of illegal aliens), leaving our country at risk.
Be clear about one thing: teachers’ unions exist not to protect the educational rights and opportunities of students; rather, they exist to protect their members—the teachers—the good, the bad, the incompetent.
For twenty-six years, I worked at all levels of public education—elementary, secondary, and adult education. During that time, I met about 20 teachers who were just the type I would want for myself, for my son or daughter or my grandchildren—positive, smart, engaging, dedicated, and instructive.
The others, well, they varied from the average to the fair to the poor to the incompetent.
Choice—and thus, competition—is the only option left which has a chance to provide a quality education to those who might not be afforded one, especially poor kids in urban ghettos.
Choice will not take away the jobs of competent teachers. This is the weakest argument made by the union. The evaluation procedures conducted by public schools administrators are laughable.
Choice might get rid of bad teachers simply because we consumers will go elsewhere.
The terrible irony of the new Democratic Party is that it purports to be the party of the people but by protecting lousy teachers, the people , especially those who are poor and underrepresented, are poorly served.
Let’s give Betsy DeVos and School Choice a chance.
What do you have to lose? (Same comment Trump made regarding Chicago)