Real parental choice: new evidence from Arizona and Chicago

Last week, Parents Across America sent a letter to Congressional education leaders explaining to them (once again) that expanding charter schools and voucher programs is not the same as empowering parents. “Parent choice is not parent voice,” we wrote.

A couple of news items from the past few days make clear what parents really want in public education – and it’s not vouchers or promoting disrespect to teachers.

  • I was in Phoenix for a few days and read that Arizona, which already has more charter schools than any other state, is now pushing to expand their private school voucher program. Wondering why, when, according to this Phoenix news report, only 150 out of 125,000 eligible students chose to participate in the program this.

Parental choice?

Keep in mind that the most respected annual poll of parents and the general public, the Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup poll, consistently finds that parents strongly prefer the option of fixing existing schools over school privatization.

  • Results of a Chicago Tribune poll last week clearly showed that Chicago Public Schools parents are much more on the side of the Chicago Teachers Union, with little support forĀ  Mayor Rahm in the CPS school reform debate.

Parental choice.

Isn’t it about time the mayor and rest of the corporate reform club start listening to real parental voices and supporting parents’ real choices?



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About the PURE Thoughts blogger
Julie Woestehoff is PURE's executive director. Julie's work has earned her a Ford Foundation award and recognition as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Chicago.