The “school choice” cry, which has become the basis for those who proffer charter schools, virtual schools and vouchers as an answer to fixing education, has had a devastating effect on those who are working to improve public education. The idea that parents have studied and know the complexities of training and education, and that they can seek programs for their children that equal the perceived excellence of private schools, makes no sense. The educational changes necessary to break free of antiquated systems will never come from competition driven by false information or magical solutions. Changes will not result from techniques that are used to produce and sell products. These “fixes” reflect a break in the wall of understanding that allow ideological experimenters and corporate profiteers to access education tax dollars and hurt children. The School Choice movement is severely damaging America.

I recently learned about a passionate, caring, adamant, and ill-informed parent who raved about the wonderful charter school her son was attending. When I checked into the school’s curriculum, I found that her son would graduate without essential foundations in almost every discipline. He loved the school and was having fun. His mom noted that, and thought the school was great.

In his old school, having to study, do rigorous academic work, and having to sit down, concentrate, and learn, made the school less fun. He complained and manipulated his way out. She caved, he lost. In the end, because she did not know what a quality school does for children, her son’s chances of catching-up barely exist. His future is limited. She listened to the wrong people and burned his bridges ahead of him.

Excerpts taken from: Vital Lies: The Irrelevance Of Our Schools In The Information AgeWritten as a format for national discussion.