Essay on School Choice is the Future of Education

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    Current efforts to change schools fall into two general categories. The first embodies decentralization of administrative power to school sites, much akin to a popular movement to move many governmental social functions such as welfare to state and regional levels. The second is to create competition among school districts for students, a key tenet of the industrialized world that purports to deliver a greater range of products and services at a price the market will bear. When parents have the option of sending their children to more than one school, the term "school choice" is often applied.


There are many factors involved in creating a good learning environment for children. There is little evidence that decentralization as the first (or only) element of an educational program of school restructuring is a successful strategy. Changes in governance may be critical to restructuring when they occur along with other activities that are designed to enhance student learning, and when they function to support this goal (Conley, 1993). Recent problems in commercially managed schools in Baltimore and Hartford may be indicative of combinatorial effects of complex factors that can render seemingly well thought out plans ineffectual in satisfying the communities they serve.


In this paper I will detail the reasons for my support of school choice, because its success does not necessarily rely on a change in all of the educational institutions involved. Rather, school choice allows a fundamental shift in how we participate in the education of our children. It involves the act of volition, and constitutes a practice that had generally been reserved for most other aspects of American society: free choice.



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... and what they will produce will continue to rise. Heightened expectations will perpetuate the continual cycle of change; change that will produce schools that are constantly striving for better learning environments for their students.



Works Cited

Conley, David T. (1993). A Roadmap to Restructuring, ERIC clearinghouse on Educational Management

Finn, C. E., and Ravitch, D. (1995) Magna Charter? A Report Card on School Reform in 1995,

Martin, M. (1991). Trading the Known for the Unknown, Warning Signs in the Debate over School Choice. Education and Urban Society, 23, 2.

McClaughry, John, (1995). Educational Choice: It really works in Vermont.

School District Profiles--What the Details Mean Parent Information Center,



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