The public education system has been failing for decades, and experts have been searching for the reason. The first thought was that schools were not receiving enough money. Another thought is that parents should be able to choose where their children go to school.
According to a piece by Mary Clare Amselem at The Daily Signal, the New York Times recently said that the problem is caused by “white parents.” White parents have too much power according to a podcast titled “Nice White Parents” that tells the racial history of one New York school. The problem seems to be parents who voted to integrate this public school and then sent their child/children elsewhere. The reasoning of such parents was that integrating schools is a good thing, but this school was teaching below the academic level of their child/children.
Critics of school choice say that the public schools are underfunded because parents take their child/children out of it. However, facts show that the schools are not underfunded. School funding has gone ever higher since 1979 when the Department of Education was created. Amselem wrote, “New York spends almost $23,000 per student per year in the public school system – a close second to Washington, D.C., for the highest per-pupil expenditure in the country. That figure also is significantly higher than most private school tuitions.”
It seems that the problem is not lack of funding, so the next question is, where is the money going? To bureaucrats – who “get paid before teachers – and before students get new textbooks.”
Amselem quoted a study done about “administrative bloat in the K-12 public education system” by Ben Scafidi at Kennesaw State University. “He found that between 1950 and 2015, the student population at public schools had grown roughly 100%. During that same time period, teaching staff had grown 243% … [and] ‘administrators and other staff’ in the public school system grew 709%.”
We can see now that the problem is not lack of funding or “nice white parents” who get involved in the education of their children. Why should parents be allowed to choose a school where their children can learn French – or Russian – or Japanese? Parents should be satisfied with the “one-size-fits-all public school system” and stop making ridiculous demands!
The New York Times and the makers of “Nice White Parents” argue that the solution to the different wants and needs of families is to ignore the wishes of parents altogether and let education bureaucrats decide what is best for their children.
School choice proponents, by contrast, believe that every family in America should be empowered to choose an education option that is custom fit for their child’s needs. Through programs such as vouchers or education savings accounts, every family would be financially empowered to make that decision. Students do better when their parents are actively engaged in their education.
Many, if not most, Americans are tired of people pulling the race card every single time something goes wrong. Being called a racist no longer means anything, but it is wrong to blame one race for the failure of an entire system. The public school system has been failing for years, and one-size-fits-all children stopped working long ago. Parents know and love their children more than any government organization could ever care for them. Therefore, parents should have the final say as to where the children are educated.