Opinion: When teachers and schools compete, students lose

A former business owner turned teacher examines the assumption underpinning much of the current reform movement — competition is a healthy force that will drive improvement in teaching and learning.

This piece is by Chuck Bennett, a teacher at Chestatee Academy in Hall County.

By Chuck Bennett

downeyart1007I owned and operated a business for 16 years  and have been a teacher and coach for the last 13. I’m a believer in market economics and the idea that competition makes for better performance. But my experience as teacher and just plain common sense have proven to me that a competitive business model is not the best solution for every situation.

It is certainly not the best model for education.

If I own shares in Pepsi, then I am pleased whenever Coke stumbles. Their failure is my gain. A competitive model encourages Pepsi to increase market share at the expense of Coke. The market system incentivizes Pepsi to seek any competitive advantage it can over Coke. As a shareholder, I would be furious if Pepsi shared trade secrets with Coke.

The premise behind public education is fundamentally different from the premise behind a business. It is in our society’s interest for all students to succeed because the life of our democracy depends upon having educated citizens, a capable workforce and discerning consumers. Imposing a competitive system on public education works against that basic premise.

For example, with our evaluation system (TKES), I, quite literally, benefit if the teachers in the grades before me fail. If my students come to me with poor test scores and then they get good scores under me, they will have shown tremendous growth. My evaluation will be great!

What then is the incentive for me to collaborate with those teachers, to share ideas, or to do anything other than sabotage them? The same goes for the teacher across the hall, against whom my scores will be compared. On a larger scale, the same goes for the relationship between every other school.

If you say that I should do these things because it is what “is best for the students,” then you accept the basic premise of public education. You cannot create a system that incentivizes competition and then expect me to work against my own self-interest.

On a practical level, I want every student to do well. I benefit from a society with great novelists and great entrepreneurs, great artists and great medical researchers. Most of those students will come from classrooms other than mine. Therefore, I want all students to do well. But imposing a competitive business model creates a built-in contradiction where I benefit from the failure of other teachers’ students.

Enterprises that involve the public good are unavoidably collaborative, not competitive. Firefighting in big cities was once handled by private companies competing against one another. That model proved to be tragically (and sometimes comically) ineffective. These days, instead of competing, firefighters from different companies work together because it is in the common good. That is why firefighting is handled by governments.

As a teacher, I collaborate with other teachers on a daily basis. We share our best ideas. We take pleasure in the success of each other’s students. To us (and probably to you) the very idea of benefiting from any child’s failure is grotesque.

Here’s another example of how a competitive model is at odds with the premise of education: I came into this profession thinking that merit pay for teachers was a good idea. In the business world, it is common sense to pay your best employees more. Rewarding good performance provides incentive for all employees to work harder.

Something I have learned as a business owner is that money is not the most important motivator for many employees. This is certainly true for teachers.

Think of it this way. The type of person who is motivated by monetary reward is not going to be attracted to the teaching profession. When you become a teacher you accept that there is a limit to how much you can possibly earn and how high your status will ever be. The only way to change this is to leave the profession and become an administrator or a consultant.

If not money or status, what then motivates the best of us? It is the almost missionary belief that education is vital for children… not just for the children in our room, but for all children. Teaching, by its nature, is self-sacrificial. Our best moments come when somebody else succeeds.

If you were to offer me a bonus, $1,000, $10,000, even $100,000, I would gladly take it. But honestly, it would not make me a better teacher or make me work harder. I already work as hard as I can. I’m already doing everything I can do to be the best teacher I can be.

Some may want to label me as anti-reform. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our society’s whole attitude towards education is in great need of reform. Our educational system’s approach is in great need of reform. There are many alternative ways to think about reform. The folks who want to impose a business model are simply offering one alternative, and a wrongheaded one at that.

 

Reader Comments 0

95 comments
J Coffey
J Coffey

Vouchers-


Phase 1:  The government gives public money to private schools.  Private schools increase their tuition enormously, much as the universities did and for the same reasons; because they can and to facilitate a spending binge on the physical plant and amusements to attract students/customers.  Not able to fund these improvements with their previous endowment, they will now become dependent on state money.  Other private schools, unable to compete, will follow suit.


Phase 2:  The newly enrolled students from failing schools transform their new schools into failing schools, as they were of course the reason their old schools were failing in the first place.  Manicured lawns and middle class peers don't replace fathers and a communal work ethic.


Phase 3:  The government steps in, appalled at the failure rates of the suffering poverty-stricken urban underclasslings.  Since the private schools are now wholly dependent on government money, the state will sick the two-headed monster of the education system status quo on them, Testing and Accountability from the right and Social Justice from the left.  The first will lead to rampant cheating in order to keep the money flowing, which everyone will acquiesce to provided the parents of the bright and motivated children can keep them away from the failures and the voucher advocates get the numbers they want.  The Social Justice Warriors, on the other hand, will not be satisfied with this, which will lead to:


Phase 4:  Leftist lawyers will argue, quite logically, that since the private schools are dependent on government money, they are in fact de facto public schools.  Having then succeeded in establishing this legal precedent, the Bolsheviks who run the colleges of education will then be able to achieve their dream by defeating their enemies in detail, first destroying traditional Christian education with a wave of discrimination and Church-state suits, then establishing state control over staffing and curriculum, and then at last by finally and completely abolishing private education (and homeschooling while they're at it), the dream of progressives since the days of Dewey.  Children will belong to the system, and the system will belong to the revolution. 


If you find this implausible, I would invite you to dispute my reasoning.  Vouchers would be a disaster for private education, and I urge anyone who cares about it to oppose them.



dbm1
dbm1

@J Coffey 

If true, a good example of how partial reform can be worse than no reform.

dbm1
dbm1

To what extent does teacher education in its current form attract good teachers such as Mr. Bennett describes, and to what extent does it push them away and instead attract mediocre teachers?

dbm1
dbm1

In cases where there is or has been competition among teachers or schools, how many cases are there of competitors sabotaging or undercutting each other?  Teachers with the motivations Mr. Bennett describes would not sabotage or undercut each other.

Competition is not the only thing to be gained by reducing or eliminating government control over education.  There are also flexibility and protection from politics.

EdumacateThat
EdumacateThat

@dbm1 When I was in elementary school, students took pre- and post-tests by subject to determine their next placement.  We would then be assigned a teacher by subject and actually moved to his/her classroom.  Yep, we didn't sit in the same classroom all day.  What a concept.

In contrast when my kids were in elementary school, they had the same teacher for all subjects.  I always thought that was a dumb set-up as teachers were not equal in the ability to teach different subjects.  It was only toward the end of my youngest's time in elementary school that I saw a change being made.  Teachers were able to move to a different classroom full of students to teach a particular subject.  IOW, teachers were grouped into teams depending upon their subject matter strengths.  I can only assume that the scores from 3 or 4 classrooms of students assigned to that teacher team were shared by all.  I don't know if the ES still does it that way, or if the push for accountability (aka competition) has killed the program.  Hope not; that would be a shame.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Let me tell you a story about competition:


I am looking at corporate apartments in Birmingham - ALL of the apartments feature nice apartments, pools, gyms, business centers.  That is because of competition.  If there was only ONE apartment and you were required to go there (or pay exorbitant amounts to go elsewhere), there would be no pressure to improve. 


The same thing would happen with public schools - if parents had the choice to send their kids to other schools, the traditional schools would improve quickly (or close).  Then ALL schools would be better.

EdumacateThat
EdumacateThat

@class80olddog I get what you're saying, but... please tell me how you plan to solve the resulting traffic jam or figure out transportation options.  Also, how will you work out the potential overcrowding in some schools and wasted space in others?  Then, what will you do with the parents that are paying a good bit more for their house just so they can be in the school zone they wanted to?  Will this screw up the property tax roles?  I realize you're not the only one in favor of charter schools, so please assume my questions go toward the "general you."

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@class80olddog


Those "corporate apartments" sound to me rather like the private school system as it already exists.  Those who can afford apartments (i.e. private schools) with pools, gyms and business centers likely enjoy the resulting competition among private schools.  However, there are a lot of apartment renters who likely cannot afford to live in a nice "corporate apartment" (many of our public school families) with all the bells and whistles.  Just where do you think "traditional schools" are going to get the money to build those "pools, gyms and business centers" needed to "improve" to the level you think necessary? Who is going to pay for it?   It is like you think districts are sitting around thinking, "Oh, we won't bother to hire good teachers, or invest in computer technology unless there is competition.  We like the fact that we don't have the latest technology and our playground equipment is falling apart."


Many schools do not even have enough money for xerox paper!

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Quidocetdiscit @class80olddog 

"Many schools do not even have enough money for xerox paper!"


That is RIDICULOUS - of course they do.  They just choose to spend it on other things - like legal fees to fight a group proposing annexation (or administrative jobs that do not further education).  Deny THAT if you can!

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Quidocetdiscit @class80olddog  Our local school had to send a SPED student to florida to a "special school" to the tune of $20,000 per year - take the difference between that and their regular student spending - that would buy a LOT of Xerox paper!

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@class80olddog @Quidocetdiscit


I do not live in DeKalb and I do not feel qualified to speak about their situation.  However, I would advise against making blanket statements about schools wasting money.  Dekalb is one school district in one city in one state.  There are thousands of districts and schools across the nation, and yes, although I am sure some are very wasteful, many are not and are still having a hard time making ends meet as states like Georgia continue to cut back on funds and local districts struggle to make up the differences.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@class80olddog @Quidocetdiscit


But the "schools" are not to blame for that....it is not a matter of how they "chose" to spend their money. They did not "choose" to send a SPED students to Florida on the taxpayer's dime. Some family "chose" to use existing laws to FORCE the school to send that child to an alternative setting - thus less money for xerox paper.  


We spend 4 times as much because we offer a lot more services to serve a lot more children. Yes, there is waste, but let's stop pretending schools are rolling in dough.  My district is very conservative with the budget, and yes, we struggle to buy the essentials.

TLBGeorgia
TLBGeorgia

No business owner lasts 16 years without being pretty savvy. If Mr. Bennett has taught for 13 years since then, it looks like he CAN compete as a teacher as well, but has been smart enough to see that the equation for a better society is more complex than A vs. B = better products and lower prices.

Chuck Bennett
Chuck Bennett

As much as some of you like to criticize the education establishment. I find it strange that you are just as reflexively dismissive of teachers as they are. I suppose from 30,000 feet, problems on the ground seem simple, no matter which plane you are riding in.


Anonymous forums are fun but they sure can lead to sloppy thinking. There is value in being able freely express opinions without fear of repercussions, but I don’t see the value in allowing your anonymity to put your brain on autopilot.


Based on what I have seen in previous blogs, I can tell that most of the commenters here are intelligent people who care about these issues. But some of you are not covering yourselves with glory when, for example, you take the time to post a comment informing us that you are not going to take the time to read the blog… or when you intentionally misread what is plainly written so that you don’t have to consider the actual argument. Good grief… I began my piece saying that I am a “believer in market economics and that competition makes for better performance.” (If you think someone can start a business from scratch and run it for 16 years without knowing something about business, I’m not sure you know exactly how hard starting and running a successful business is!)


I’m a big believer in intellectual honesty and my 7th graders are capable of grasping what I mean by that. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have strong opinions, but that having strong opinions is not enough. It means you enter into discussions understanding that you just might have something more to learn. It means you give that other person the benefit of the doubt and work to understand what they have to say. Not only will you emerge from discussions a wiser person, you will find that the other fellow is more likely to thoughtfully consider what you have to say.


My thesis (that’s what we call using the language of the standards) is that some human endeavors, like public education and firefighting, are public goods and are, by their nature, better suited for a collaborative model than a competitive model.


If I were grading responses, I would say that two ideas I have seen so far are interesting. One commenter noted that coaches often with share information with other coaches in the off-season. This is a good example of collaboration in a competitive environment. A couple of you argued for no competition between teachers, but competition between schools. If I were leading a discussion in my classroom, that’s where I would expand the discussion. Another area I would love to see explored is how, specifically, the power of competition would be good for teachers.


Speaking of, if you disagree with me about merit pay (and you have slogged your way this far into my comment) there is an interesting and entertaining video you might like to watch. Go to YouTube and search for Daniel Pink & motivation.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Chuck Bennett There already IS a competition between schools - for the better-off, anyway.  When I moved into a new house, I CHOSE the neighborhood with the good schools, even if the house cost more and was an hour commute.  People move all the time to get out of failing school systems - if they have the means.  People move their kids from school systems they don't like to private schools (I have done this also), but, again, this is limited to the families with means.  For those without the means, their kids are TRAPPED in the bad schools (notice I have not said one word about TEACHERS).  Vouchers and charters would give MORE parents who care options about their kids' education.


I would prefer to see the traditional schools fix their own issues - starting with discipline, attendance, and social promotion - but I don't even see an acknowledgement of the importance of these issues, let alone any effective means of dealing with them (ISS and OSS are NOT effective means).

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Well, if Mr Bennett was in business for 16 years, he should recognize this business concept:

If you put out an inferior product, you will soon go out of business.

Government bureaucracies, on the other hand, are insulated from this market accountability.  As a parent who moved their child out of public schools in favor of a private school, the difference was amazing.  That private school knows that if I am not happy with the services they provide, my child and my money will go elsewhere.

As evidenced by some of the responses to this blog, educrats are fighting that accountability tooth and nail.  Go ahead.  Keep passing illiterates from grade to grade.  Keep denying accountability. You are almost at the tipping point where politicians are going to listen to their constituents and pass something to introduce "market concepts" to the education model.

Chuck Bennett
Chuck Bennett

@Lee_CPA2  I understand your frustration, and I understand the rationale for bringing market forces to bear in education. You clearly think education is important as evidenced by your willingness to pay for your children's education. So far, we are on exactly the same page.


I would like for you to understand that just because I disagree with you, just because I have dedicated my second career to teaching children, that I am NOT simply an "educrat" who is fighting accountability tooth and nail.


I presume you are an accountant. Well, I know enough about your profession to understand that there is more to it than debits go to the left and credits go to the right. That doesn't mean I am not allowed to have valid opinions about tax policy. But it also doesn't mean that I should dismiss, out of hand, the opinions of someone, simply because he made accounting his profession.


By the way, you may be assured that I was a businessman for sixteen years. No "ifs" are necessary. I'm an actual person who thinks these issues are important enough to attach my name to my opinions.


And now, I am off to work. We have just finished five days of testing and, thanks to computer glitches, are about to start a whole new round. (And also EOC and SLO tests are coming up as well.)


:-)

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

Copy Chuck Bennett's post and send it to everybody you know, right now.  Enough said.

OldPhysicsTeacher
OldPhysicsTeacher

I wonder if you graduate from a for-profit high school with an "A" average that just closed for extremely poor management and went out of business, what your degree is worth?  I wonder if you graduate from a charter that goes under and you go right into USA service, then get out and try to get into college and they require a transcript and the office is closed up and the records have been shredded, can you get into college?  The "market" is great at certain things.  I always thought the University of Phoenix produced graduates equal to Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Ga Tech </snark>.  How will I tell if they go completely out of business? 


class80olddog
class80olddog

@OldPhysicsTeacher "what your degree is worth? "


What is a current HS diploma worth now that we no longer have the GHSGT and we have rampant grade inflation?  We don't take managers with less than a four-year degree. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

The problem is that the charter school voucher schemers have hijacked the conversation. Failing schools do not exist. The paint, bricks, sidewalks, or other parts of the physical structure do not cause kids to perform poorly on tests. Some schools have high concentrations of poor performers. I never see stories of highly motivated, hardworking students that listen in class, do their homework and have support at home but are failing standardized tests because of the school.


School choice is available now depending on your resources. You can move to a different zone, go to private school, homeschool, or go to a public online school. But, you should not have the right to take other taxpayers money so you can get your choice by denying local taxpayers any say so on how that money is spent.


If you want to use a competitive model, do it with pay as do businesses - raise teacher pay 100% to entice the best talent to apply - just as business do. Are you school competition types for that type of competition?




BearCasey
BearCasey

Excellent article, though I disagree with him on merit pay.  I have an offer for corporate or entrepreneurial types:  I won't try to run your business like a school if you'll stop trying to apply "business models" to education.

traderjoe9
traderjoe9

I skimmed your column. That's all the time I'm going to give it at the moment. I can see why that guy left business. His analysis of business & competition in the schools is flawed. You seem to dredge up any argument you can regardless of how lame it is to support the failing Democratic public school system. Shame on you.

goddlessleftist
goddlessleftist

@traderjoe9

"I skimmed your column. Your analysis is flawed. I offer no support of my statement, but I *will* try to discredit you and the public school system by tying it to the Democratic Party."

For what it's worth, the claim that the school system is falling is specious at best. If you ask parents, most of them would say they're fairly happy with their children's schools. Sure, there are problems, but turning schooling into business is not the solution to them.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@traderjoe9 Are you talking about Georgia's public college school system? The 4 year grad rate for GA public colleges is 24%. The 6 year rate is only 60%. If you declare K-12 lame and failing at a 71% grad rate, how do you feel about the public college system that performs so poorly with students who have to test in, while k-12 has to take all comers? Should we give public colleges to charters to increase competition?

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

Maureen, I would love to see the AJC write about the basis on which our schools are judged to be failing and the demographics behind those schools considered to be failing compared to those which aren't. I have long felt that the method our our standardized tests are so secretive and their validity on all fronts have been brought into question. Of course, the big winners of testing are not the children but the testing companies who have received billions of dollars from our school budgets, sometimes in no-bid contracts, and aren't answerable to the public for the money wasted on invalid tests. I have two links that are worth the read. The first is from a Clinical Psychologist with a PHd who has questioned the validity of testing on all fronts. The second is that Pearson is now spying on our children's social media networks to find out if they are sharing information about their tests and, in  turn, reprimanding them and threatening them with court action. Both of these are extremely troubling since we are paying these companies billions of tax payer dollars.


http://dianeravitch.net/2015/04/29/reader-the-common-core-tests-cannot-be-independently-verified-for-validity-and-reliability/


http://www.bobbraunsledger.com/breaking-pearson-nj-spying-on-social-media-of-students-taking-parcc-tests/

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@MaryElizabethSings @sneakpeakintoeducation


And also I would like to point out that if our schools are being judged on the results of standardized tests that are flawed and have serious validity issues then that means they could be passed into the hands of the charter industry using bad/flawed information.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@gactzn2 


You ain't seen nothing yet, in terms of the corruption that would ensue, if public education were to become part of the free market economic system.

PJ25
PJ25

For Christ's sake.  Lets keep the teachers, their unions/associations and the Democrats happy. Lets never give poor children the opportunity to attend better schools on the other side of town and lets quit holding teacher's accountable to test score performance.  We'll roll with this do nothing attitude for a generation and see what happens. 


After all, Clayton County and APS have proven teachers and their admins know what's best for their kids, not parents, politicians and judges. 

coj
coj

Instead of comparing schools to businesses, we should be talking about schools as essential infrastructure, like fire and police protection, roads and bridges, and our electoral process.

RealLurker
RealLurker

Let's use the "public education" methodology with soda.  Since you live in Atlanta, you should be FORCED to drink Coca-Cola.  It doesn't matter if you have stock in Pepsi, or believe it to be better tasting.  Because of your geographic location, you can only drink Coca-Cola.  When you complain that Coca-Cola is not meeting you needs, and that you would like to transfer to Pepsi, you are denied the opportunity.


Teachers should not be competing directly against each other.  Children should not be forced to go to schools with a long history of inferior education simply because their parents cannot afford to move to a better district or put them in a private school.

RealLurker
RealLurker

@dg417s Maybe you didn't read my last paragraph.  The CHILDREN are forced to go to failing schools because the PARENTS cannot afford to move or put them in private school.  There appear to be more failing schools in economically depressed areas.  I would suggest that the economically depressed culture has as much if not more to do with that than the school.  However, if you live in an economically depressed area, chances are that you cannot afford to move to a more affluent area with better schools.  If you can only afford to live in an economically depressed area, you most likely cannot afford private school, or to have one of the parents stay at home to home school.  With the current public educational system, there are children who are stuck in failing schools because of their parents economic condition.  The ONLY chance they have of getting out of those schools are public charter school lotteries.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@RealLurker @dg417s


The ONLY chance they have of getting out of those schools are public charter school lotteries.


But where your argument fails is that only 17% of charter schools do BETTER than their traditional public school and a huge % are actually WORSE. This is according to a CREDO study (not exactly a left-wing organization). A recent study released by them showing the slightest of gains (1/10th of 1% gains in reading and math in charter compared to public schools) is questionable because of the way in which is compared students from one arena to the next and is flawed.


That begs the question, why do you think that putting out public schools in the hands of privateers who have shown that they don't pass the smell test is the ONLY chance these students have? Haven't you heard that you cannot educate your way out of poverty? Haven't you heard that the failed reforms are not the answer; they have been tried for over 20 years and have still failed to show the gains they promised. Haven't you heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which shows that until a child has all their needs met on level 1; water, food, clean air, sleep  level 2: safety and security   level 3: family, love, the feeling of belonging   level 4: accomplishment, confident, self-esteem. The child needs all their needs fulfilled in the first 3 levels before they are ready for learning. Without these things in place, learning with be flawed, negligible or non-existent.


You are wrong because the ONLY way to improve the lives of these children, and it has been proven through peer-reviewed research, is by FIRST providing wrap around services with access to healthcare, nutrition, safe housing, etc....  

RealLurker
RealLurker

@sneakpeakintoeducation You are reading too much into my statements.  The only thing I have said is that IF a student is in a failing school and his parents do not have economic means to move or send him to private school that he is stuck.  There could even be a better public school a few miles away from his house, but he will not be allowed to go there because of where he lives.


Please show me in my posts where I have said that private education will do better with children who do not eat or sleep well.  Please show me in my posts where I have said that private education will do better with children who do not want to learn.


You stated "You are wrong because......".  I made none of the statements that you claim I was wrong about.  I am correct that a child without economic means CANNOT move away from his geographically appointed school.  That is the ONLY thing I have stated.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@RealLurker @sneakpeakintoeducation


Your argument is flawed because, as YOU stated the ONLY thing that would save the students from what you consider to be failing schools is to put them into the charter school system which has been shown to be a failed enterprise with regards to improving educational outcomes for our students. So you suggest that the ONLY option is putting them into another system (in the hands of privateers) which has been shown to, on the whole, not provide success for students but does for the deep pockets of the privateers. 


My inclusion of  Maslow's Hierarchy of needs is to further substantiate my point that before you can educate the child other needs need to be met and fulfulled. Your idea that charters are the ONLY option for these children is wrong and has been proven to be so. I am sorry to didn't find my post clear enough in argument. I am sure that if you re-read it you will find that my solution would be to ensure that before you even begin with education you have to ensure that the child's other needs are met. This is a research-proven fact and has been shown to be successful, unlike charter schools. 

RealLurker
RealLurker

@sneakpeakintoeducation @RealLurker


"Your argument is flawed because, as YOU stated the ONLY thing that would save the students from what you consider to be failing schools is to put them into the charter school system which has been shown to be a failed enterprise with regards to improving educational outcomes for our students."


I DID NOT make that statement.  I specifically said that their ONLY opportunity to get out of a failing school is by entering a lottery for a charter school.  I made no statement or even a suggestion that the charter school was better.  A student without economic means CANNOT attend any other school than their geographically designated school.  Please stop arguing against what you think I might possibly mean by my statements, and read the actual words in my statements.  I am usually pretty careful and specific about what I write.


I have written many time before that in my opinion, the home culture of the child is more important than the teachers, or the school that the child attends.  I do agree with you that the child's well being is very important.  I believe that the attitudes of the parents is vital also.  Please stop chastising me for things that you "think" I am saying and pay attention to the actual text that I write.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@RealLurker @sneakpeakintoeducation


If you think I miss-stated your opinion, I apologize. I was merely stating that IF the school is classed as failing then there is an option to putting the child into a charter lottery. That would be to try and alleviate the issues the child has at home to enable them to succeed in school. By doing this the school will, in all likelihood, be classed as failing. If this happened, there would no need to even consider a charter lottery. The rest of my post was to provide some background to my reasoning and also to confirm that where is has been implemented has shown to be successful.

dg417s
dg417s

@RealLurker But you are not forced to drink Coca Cola and you are not forced to send your child to a particular school. You have options. If you want to send your child to a private or parochial school or even home school, you have that right. Why do you say that you must send your child to your neighborhood school? You do not.

booful98
booful98

@RealLurker If I follow your analogy, the solution is VERY simple: if Coke isn't meeting your needs, yu need to move where they serve Pepsi. You are not denied the opportunity to drink Pepsi. You can move to where they serve it.


Not that I buy your analogy for one hot minute

booful98
booful98

@sneakpeakintoeducation Nope, no true. Cobb Co has several magnet schools that any resident can apply to and be accepted on merit. And non Cobb Co residents can also apply. Not a lottery, but on merit.

RealLurker
RealLurker

@booful98 There are 186 school districts in Georgia.  11 of those have magnet schools.  For the other 175 districts in Georgia, what is your suggestion?

RealLurker
RealLurker

@booful98 I guess you ignored the part of my post where I said "Children should not be forced to go to schools with a long history of inferior education simply because their parents cannot afford to move to a better district or put them in a private school."


If the parent cannot afford to move, then the child will be stuck in an inferior school, or drinking Coke.

bu2
bu2

@dg417s @RealLurker 

But you do have to send your child to school and you have to pay for the neighborhood school.  You have to pay extra to go elsewhere.  Most people (at least most currently in public schools) can't afford that.

dg417s
dg417s

In the mean time, the kids are coming in with the $200 sneakers and new designer jeans. It's often a matter of priortizing what's important.