Why Parents Love School Choice Even if Politicians Hate It


Who does school choice help most? You could make the case it’s people like Washington, DC single mother Deborah Green and her daughter Tanisha Bethea. Look:

When she was not satisfied with her daughter’s education, [Deborah Green] took advantage of the only option she could afford — enrolling Tanisha in a charter school during middle school.

However, teachers at the charter school told the 53-year-old single mother that her daughter could do better in a more challenging environment and urged her to put Tanisha into private school.

“Her teachers were feeling she had potential, and I needed to get her out of there,” she said.

The only problem was Miss Green could not afford it. In 2005, a co-worker told her about the Opportunity Scholarship.

She jumped at the chance, and when Tanisha won a voucher, she enrolled at Dupont Park Adventist School, a small Christian school in Southeast.

The difference was dramatic, Miss Green said.

Tanisha had to learn how to do more homework because her schoolwork was more demanding. She learned self-discipline and stopped procrastinating. Her mother said she began working harder when more was expected of her.

“More so with the private school, I see she’s working to get that grade,” Miss Green, inside her small but cozy apartment in Anacostia, said at the end of May, just before school let out for the summer.

Tanisha spends hours in the afternoon doing her homework, she said.

“Private schools expect a lot more than public and charter schools, so that’s good,” said Tanisha, a shy but articulate teenager. “It was more about applying yourself, and I wasn’t used to that. It seems like they’re preparing you for college.”

There were differences outside of academics, too.

“It’s strict,” Tanisha said. She was home from school for the afternoon, and had changed from her school uniform into a camouflage tank top. “I have a little trouble with that, but I can adjust.”

It’s no wonder that the parents who have tried it are ready to fight so hard to keep choice alive. Politicians who would deprive children of their opportunities will have to deal with…well, with this:

[Deborah Green] said she is ready to hit the streets in protest when the program comes up for reauthorization in Congress next year in what is expected to be a fierce confrontation.

“We’re going to have a battle,” she said. “I’m ready to do that because they need to keep the program going. Without it, the students don’t have a choice, and I don’t think that’s fair.”

That’s from a pretty good article in The Washington Times. You should really read the whole thing.


6 responses to “Why Parents Love School Choice Even if Politicians Hate It

  1. It’s amazing that anybody could be opposed to school choice after reading stories like this. I truly hope our entire Congressional Delegation votes to reauthorize the DC parental choice program and that our General Assembly gets a backbone and passes something similar here in South Carolina.

  2. I am totally opposed to vouchers in any form. It does not help those who need help. Do not waste our tax money on private school vouchers.

  3. Jake, did you not read the article referenced in the post? The DC voucher does EXACTLY what you contend it doesn’t. I suggest you read the article again and then try to explain how “it does not help those who need help.” That’s precisely who it helps!

  4. No. You’re EXACTLY wrong, and you know it. Vouchers would do nothing to address the real problems and issues facing our schools.

    For example, vouchers precisely do nothing to address poverty, latent racism and the lack of fair and reasonable funding for all schools.

    Vouchers precisely ignore another really big problem – the standard set by our Legislature for a “minimally adequate” education.

    Vouchers would only help a (mostly privileged) few and bring back the “separate but equal” standard that’s already failed miserably.

    Vouchers would precisely leave those who need help the most even further and further behind.

    Your friend,

  5. Jake, you seem to be misinformed regarding what school choice will do. Nobody has ever argued that vouchers or tax credits is a panacea or that school choice will cure all the ills you listed. What it will do is help parents find an education that best suits their individual child. By allowing parents to “shop” around for an education, it will have the secondary effect of forcing schools that are losing children to re-evaluate how they are working in order to improve and compete. But as we’ve said time and time again, school choice is one of many reforms that should be implemented – it’s not a cure-all but it will help many more children receive the education they need and deserve.

  6. Our friend Jake is upset that we have not posted several of his other comments. We invite him and others of his ilk to read our comment policy. We are not going to post opposition rants or propoganda. If you have a rational and constructive comment, concern or criticism, we’ll be happy to post it and reply. If it’s the same old garbage that does not address the post itself, we have no problem hitting that delete button.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s