Is the school choice movement a conspiracy to privatize K-12 education? Many members of the public school elite think so. I phoned in the question during Saturday's Northern Alliance Radio Network show (AM 1280 The Patriot), and continued the discussion at Keegan's that night (see previous post). On The Patriot, Craig Westover and Liz Mische (Partnership for Choice in Education) made a distinction between protecting the institution or delivery vehicle for education, and serving the student. Are they necessarily the same? This question has been debated recently here on Scholar's Notebook.
Those at Keegan's were not of one mind on this subject. Saint Cloud State University professor King Banaian asked on air and at Keegan's, don't we already have enough school choice in Minnesota (private, public, charter, homeschool, open enrollment, PSEO, AP) without mentioning the "v" word (vouchers)? More than once in the past, Cheri Pierson Yecke praised Minnesota's current school choice environment, pointing out that Minnesotans by and large can "vote with their feet" for the school of their choice. Others at Keegan's questioned the fiscal feasibility of vouchers (would it work?). And concerning privatizing education, what would be so bad about that?
I am considering a couple of opportunities to explore school choice in more depth. I will be sure to share my findings and thoughts with you, dear readers. School choice should prove easier for me to sound intelligent about than, say, K-12 funding (I'm still trying, but it's a process).