School choice is a topic that has fallen out of the public discussion in the past couple of years. You rarely hear politicians debate its merits and hear very little about vouchers, bussing, choice, etc.
However, here in Illinois, and specifically in Chicago, school choice is a growing hot topic once again. In the past year, there have been rallies at Union Station in Chicago and discussions on school choice reform.
In my opinion, school choice has the power to transform education.
In a city as diverse as Chicago, and after seeing one of the largest school closings in history this last August, school choice could reform education in the city of Chicago. Eighth-grade students in Chicago are currently in a battle to get accepted into one of the few selective enrollment high schools in the city. These selective-enrollment schools are the best among the rest of the overcrowded, ill-funded, gang-ridden public high schools that litter the city of Chicago, especially the west and south sides. Imagine if all students in the city of Chicago could choose ANY public high school to attend. Under-enrolled (and thus, under-performing) schools would be forced to close. Schools would need to be at the forefront of education and would need to market to students to increase their enrollment, much like the private schools in Chicago must do to keep up enrollment. If all schools were placed in thinks competitive market, schools would be forced to increase the quality of learning provided to students or face closure. This simple act of eliminating neighborhood schools could transform schools in Chicago.
Thoughts? Leave a comment here or tweet me @barry_christine