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School Choice – An Educational Custom Fit
Imagine if only one size of pants were sold in stores and government regulations wouldn’t allow any other size to be made available to consumers. This may sound crazy but it’s much like what’s happening with the education of our nation’s children. As Americans we enjoy a wide range of personal choice, and thankfully it includes our ability to select the pants that fit us best. But think for a moment about traditional public education. For decades the public school system has offered a one size fits all approach to educating our nation’s children. As we approached the 21st century, the public school system began to show its age. More and more children began to fall behind in a rapidly changing environment marked by the introduction of personal computers and later the internet. Sensing a need for change, many people began to push for new educational models that would keep up with the times. This marked the beginning of the school choice movement. Both charter schools and school voucher programs are collectively referred to as “school choice” initiatives, in that they allow parents freedom to choose individualized education options for their children that are outside of the traditional “one size fits all’ public school system. A school voucher program provides parents with certificates that are used to pay for education at a school of their choice, rather than the public school to which they are assigned. Charter schools on the other hand are publicly funded schools that have been freed from inefficient public school system rules and regulations in exchange for accountability to produce positive, measurable results. These agreed to results are set forth in each school’s
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