Super Charge School Choice
Despite spending 4th most per capita on K-12 education, our schools are failing. Even here in Massachusetts, fewer than half of our kids are at or above proficiency in reading and math. The one-size-fits-all approach to public education is not working. There are too many different kinds of kids, communities and parents. We need to trust parents to know what their children need, and let the funds follow the child. This is the only way that we can secure the futures of our kids and our country.
In 2019, only 32% of 8th graders were at or above proficiency for reading, and only 33% for math. In Massachusetts, our results were 45% and 47%, respectively--and declining (even before we robbed our kids of a year of education).
Last year showed us kids and parents do NOT have a voice even in whether kids are educated--much less what they learn. Massachusetts had the 11th lowest in-person learning last year. The average child had access to just 9 weeks of 5-day, full-time, in-person learning—out of ~40. While education spending is a priority in this state—actually educating our children is subservient to many other interests.
School choice is also the only way to square the circle of competing ideologies. Critical race theory and gender fluidity are ideas. As such, they are not problematic in themselves. But when they heavily inflect the only state-sponsored option for education, they become problematic—just as it would be problematic if the only state-sponsored option were a Catholic education.