Over the past 20 years, legislators have been touting the need to create a competitive system to foster the belief that competition will improve public schools. Throughout the United States, pro-school choice legislation has been enacted so that a competitive, market-based school choice model could be imposed. Many uninformed citizens have blindly supported this legislative approach believing that competition between traditional public schools and charter/private schools will improve public education. However, some informed citizens are now looking closely at this approach and are starting to call out the unfair advantage given to charter/private schools.
The question seems to be whether the competition is fair or are charter schools being given an unfair advantage? Dr. Edward Deming, who promoted systemic improvement by using data to determine the problem and by finding the right solution to the problem, advocates that when one part of a system wins at the expense of another part of the system, failure is imminent. Twenty-years of charter/private school data are now being brought to light that show how charter/private schools have been given an unfair competitive advantage to compete with traditional public schools. If legislators want competition between traditional public schools and charter/private schools, should not that competition be fair and equitable for all who participate?
Traditional public school administrators, teachers, staff members and School Board members know that school choice is being favored by the legislative majority. The issue is not about school choice. The issue is about making the competition fair to all. Should charter/private schools be given advantages that traditional public schools do not receive? Why not give the same advantages to traditional public schools? If a fair, competitive system is imposed on all schools, both traditional and charter/private schools, this more reliable data will show which group has better educational outcomes. Until this is realized, any comparison between traditional publics schools vs. charter/private schools should be considered unreliable.
Below is an article authored by Dr. Diane Ravitch. As you read this article, please consider researching for yourself the information she cites. I think you will find her information to be accurate and reliable. Also, many people do not understand the impact the so-called “school choice” legislation has had on traditional public school funding. I came across a simple, short public school funding video that explains what has happened to public school funding over the past 10 years. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kunfBsMm_IY. Again, I encourage you to watch the video and then do your research. I think you will find the information in this video to be accurate as well.
I share all of this with you with the hope that after you have researched this information that you will be better informed about the challenges facing Indiana public schools. Public school teachers, staff members and administrators cannot alone improve the public education system without assistance from community members. I hope you will get involved to advocate with legislators for the right reforms so that ALL Indiana children can continue receiving a world-class education.
Dr. Rocky Killion
Superintendent of Schools
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- The Roadmap to a World-Class Education
- Busting Four Myths to Indiana's School Choice Legislation
- Education Reform: Perception vs. Reality
- Right Path for Public Education