The dark side of parental choice:
One reason is that as charters have grown, they haven’t met the needs of low-income and special needs populations. By law they are expected to serve minority populations, but they are not required, like traditional schools, to offer transportation and subsidized meals. In practicality, that’s a deterrent to non-white families. “There is no doubt that the charter school system in this state is contributing to racial segregation,” Ladd says.
She said white parents, in picking out charter schools, are concerned as much about minority enrollment – they prefer less than 20 percent – as about quality. Satisfaction surveys and re-enrollment trends, she said, show higher satisfaction with charters among white families than minorities.
And I'm sure more than a few of them would prefer zero percent, whether they would admit to it or not. And their children, more than any of their peers, would benefit from engaging in a diverse school population. It's the best (only?) way to break the cycle of generational prejudice. An observation which I'm sure would have the Puppets grasping for their smelling salts:
The conservative John Locke Foundation hosted a School Choice breakfast in Raleigh featuring a panel discussion celebrating charter schools, vouchers and home schooling. The General Assembly, in the session just begun, is considering further expansion of options to traditional public schooling.
All this proceeds on the assumption that school choice is a good thing. But is it?
Just as government isn't a monolithic benevolent entity with only service to the population as a goal, parents don't represent the pinnacle of wisdom when it comes to the impartation of knowledge to their children. And make no mistake, the ideologues at the John Locke Foundation and other pro-choice entities like ALEC know that parents are not the best "deciders" of their child's educational needs, but they also know that parents are easily convinced that they are, and they make powerful allies in the effort to destroy the public school system.
So it's left up to people like us to point out a few painful truths: If you're a parent and you choose to learn about the world around you by watching Fox News, you have no business making any decisions about the education of children, even your own. If you're a parent and you attribute every natural and man-made catastrophe as a sign foretold in the Book of Revelations, please choose to not run for your local school board. If you're a parent and you look up into the sky and see a government conspiracy to modify your behavior instead of water vapor molecules that have been scrambled through a jet engine, thanks, but no thanks. Your help in determining the course of society is not needed.
I could go on, but you get my point. Parents are not infallible, and the vast majority of them are simply not qualified to properly educate their children, or even choose the how and where of such.