24 May 2006


I was just looking back at this bit from blackprof.com and had some further thoughts.

Mr. Jeffries argues, as have many others, that school choice is the answer for fixing our deteriorating school system. I mentioned in the comments that I'd read some research years ago that suggested most students in a pioneering school choice program in Milwaukee who actually took advantage of the program did so either for social or athletics reasons. That is they either wanted to go to school with a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend or they wanted to play for a particular school's athletic team.

Another commenter suggested I was wrong.

I don't pretend to be an expert on school choice, education in general, or inner-city education in particular. I'm not completely inexperienced - I actually have a (never-used) masters in education and my student teaching took place in the closest thing Knoxville, Tennessee has to an inner-city. But - to reiterate - I know I'm no expert in this area and the little knowledge I have is many-years old.

That said. While school choice may be laudable it can't - by itself - fix the nation's education problems. And it especially can't fix our inner-city education problems because those problems are ultimately the problems of the inner-city itself.

Schools don't operate in a vacuum. They are products of their communities.

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