National School Choice Week: Celebrating the importance of opportunity in education

Center of the American Experiment is proud to join hundreds of schools, organizations, families, and school leaders in celebrating all Minnesota students through National School Choice Week.

National School Choice Week (NSCW) is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical annual celebration of effective K-12 education options available to children and families across the country—from traditional public schools, public charter schools, and public magnet schools to private schools, religious schools, online schools, and homeschooling options. It is an opportunity to shine a positive spotlight on all forms of school choice and parent empowerment.

What is school choice?

School choice is the process of families choosing the K-12 educational options that best fit their children and their unique needs. For Olivia, the learning environment that has helped her succeed is at a private school. For Jade, he is able to unlock his full potential through homeschooling. For Kiara and Darnell, a charter school setting gives them great opportunity to thrive. Regardless of what form of education is chosen, it is the power of parental choice that makes school choice so rewarding.

Why support school choice?

Nobody knows a child better than his or her parents. School choice is about trusting parents to decide the right school/program for their children. It’s about recognizing that every child deserves an effective, motivating, and challenging education. It’s about giving every child the opportunity to use his or her unique set of talents and interests in a way that equips students for the real world.

A majority of evidence from studies that look into the impact of educational choice demonstrates that these programs improve academic outcomes for those who participate in them. Outside of academic performance, school choice has a positive impact on civic engagement, crime rates, and improving parental and student satisfaction. In addition, school choice encourages traditional public schools to improve. Thirty-three empirical studies looked into the effects of educational choice programs on public schools—94 percent (31 studies) found that school choice improves public schools. One study found no visible effect while only one found a negative effect.

Interested in learning more about the education options available for your child? The National School Choice Week website offers a variety of resources and helpful tips for choosing the right school for your child.

When it comes to education, one size doesn’t fit all. Every child in every family and every community deserves an equal opportunity to succeed. That is why school choice is so important.

Let’s celebrate the options available in our state but not let up on the work that still needs to be done to make school choice a reality for all Minnesota students.