During the widespread stay at home orders, many families got an up-close and personal look at expectations for their children’s learning. In an article in Forbes, Rick Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, observes that the COVID-19 crisis may have added clarity to the debate about school choice.
The most effective argument made by opponents of school choice has long been the simple assertion that we can’t trust choice to yield decent options for every child. And since every child has a right to be schooled, it’s important to protect traditional public school systems in order to assure an acceptable default education for every child.
There are many responses to this line of argument—including that the default option may be a lousy one for many kids. But it’s true that school choice can’t guarantee that every child will wind up in a decent school. And that’s allowed opponents to caricature what choice entails.
Well, one of the things about crises is that they can be clarifying. And in the great coronavirus school shutdown, it’s become clear that what this universal, public system actually guarantees is a lot less than we imagined.
The full article is available here.
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