The politicization of education confirms why we fight for school choice year-round

I can’t count the number of emails and phone calls the Center receives on a weekly basis from public school parents who are concerned about the lesson content and political indoctrination they are seeing in their child’s education. We have the Walz administration rewriting Minnesota’s academic standards in social studies, leaving out key historical facts and subjects but including a philosophically narrow view of the world, and then calling the concerns parents and Minnesotans have regarding the standards revisions “white supremacy language.” We have teachers’ unions not negotiating in good faith to get schools reopen. And who pays the price with all of this? Our kids.

This is why the timing of National School Choice Week couldn’t be more urgent. While we officially celebrated school choice this week, the politicization of education confirms why we fight for school choice year-round. Every child deserves an effective, motivating, and challenging education, and that comes in a variety of forms. Regardless of what form is chosen, it is the power of options, opportunity, and parental choice that make school choice so rewarding. According to J.D. Tuccille with the Reason Foundation, “school choice may prove to be a path not only to better education but also to greater diversity of viewpoints and, perhaps, a little less conflict between people who think differently.”

As those families leave the public schools for options of their own choosing, they’re not only selecting teaching approaches that work for their kids, they’re also picking curricula or, at least, learning environments with which they’re comfortable.

And what a lot of time and energy can be diverted from ideological wars to education when families choose their children’s lessons instead of fighting with each other over the content.

As families pursue new education choices, it’s important work continues to make sure all families interested in new learning opportunities can access the learning environment or program that best meets their children’s needs. Twenty-six governors around America issued proclamations declaring this past week (Jan. 24- Jan. 30) as School Choice Week in their state. Sadly, Minnesota’s governor was not one of them. But the majority of Minnesotans support school choice, according to several of the Center’s Thinking Minnesota Polls, and support for parental choice continues to grow. It’s time for Minnesota to adopt new strategies that help tackle education shortcomings because otherwise our students will continue paying the price.