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Bill Phillis: A Major Difference Between Public Schools and "School Choice"by Diane Ravitch

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Bill Phillis is a champion of public schools. He writes: "Tax-supported vouchers and charters are foreign to the common school system required by the constitution. They are not only foreign to the system, but are parasitical in taking funds away from the common system. These schemes divide, rather than unite. They serve not all, but selected students. Their goal does not necessarily match the goal of the common system—to maintain the republican form of government. Their relationship to the community is often strained or non-existent, as opposed to symbiotic. A primary purpose for the creation of the common school system for all the children of all the people was to maintain a republican form of government. Knowledgeable people in unity with one another will ward off tyranny, in favor of liberty and equality. A virtuous government operating for the common good is the goal."

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)

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Diane Ravitch also writes: "Forbes just published this: "School Choice Keeps Winning." But evidence indicates that school choice is actually failing children, the article uses the term"winning' to celebrate the expansion of choice programs in many GOP-led states."Success" for school choice means expansion of charters & vouchers, not better education for students. Funding from the state has continued to dwindle. The burden on local school districts has continued to increase; 30 years ago, the school choice movement boasted that charters & vouchers would "save poor children from failing public schools, " & that that private schools outperform public schools. Now we know that school choice does not produce academic improvement for students; that many pick their students and discriminate against the children they don't want. In 2021, we believe these concerns regarding public school funding are still relevant."

"The language used in the Forbes article reflects a rhetorical strategy that school choice advocates have adopted in recent years. We (Joe Malin, Amanda Potterton, and Chris Lubienski) analyzed how language favoring educational choice is increasingly shaping U.S. educational policy for a new article published in the journal, Kappa Delta Pi Record. Key features of some dominant narratives include shifting the focus away from academic results (where choice advocates had, for years, insisted there were great gains)."

"Instead, in view of a slew of recent studies showing students in choice programs experience a relative decline in learning gains, choice advocates like Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump have been moving the goalposts to focus on personal narratives and claims of school choice as "liberty," "freedom," or a "civil right." Public schooling is often framed as a "failing" enterprise, and thus a burden on the taxpayer and on poor families. This language often implies that education should be organized like a business," with families as "consumers" of the privatized benefits of schooling."

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 19, 2021 at 4:31:45 PM

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