“Covid-19 Has Capsized the Case Against School Choice.
During the past six months, it’s become clear that what this universal, public system actually guarantees is a lot less than we imagine.”
Frederick Hess in Education Next Blog, October 16, 2020
Hess goes on to amplify that:
“…the case against school choice is coming apart. Last month, RealClear Opinion Research reported that, since April, support for school choice had risen by 10 points, from 67 percent to 77 percent, among parents with children in public schools. In August, EdChoice reported that 70 percent of parents said they want more than one educational option this fall. In September, a Manhattan Institute poll of voters in battleground states found that two-thirds supported ‘publicly funded K-12 school choice.’”
Hess also says:
“…it isn’t about bombastic claims that public schools are ‘failing’ or that public systems should be blown up. The issue, rather, is that universalist ‘public’ systems aren’t delivering what was promised. This makes it harder for those who would denounce school choice’s tapestry of options as an inadequate or immoral alternative to make their case.”
The reality is that the public school system simply cannot be all things for all students. COVID-19 has brought that home like never before and, as the recent polls Hess cites make clear, more and more people are figuring this out.