According to Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, change is on the horizon — and for the better.
Speaking with Fox News this week, he said that the growing school choice movement to allow parents to choose where to enroll their children is weakening the teachers’ unions’ grip on education.
“Finally, we are freeing families from the clutches of the teachers’ unions once and for all, and there’s not a dang thing they can do about it,” he said.
the school choice revolution has ignited. pic.twitter.com/XP7Yfjp10U
— Corey A. DeAngelis, school choice evangelist (@DeAngelisCorey) February 17, 2023
As reported previously, the school choice movement is an effort by some legislators — mainly conservative and libertarian ones — to empower parents with the option to move their children from failing public schools and into well-performing private ones.
But teachers’ unions greatly resent this. They want all children to remain in the public school system, even if the system isn’t benefitting them.
“The teachers union monopoly wants to force kids to attend their residentially assigned, government-run institutions that they staff. It’s about maintaining power. It’s about maintaining a monopoly on the minds of other people’s kids,” DeAngelis explained.
“For far too long in K-12 education, the only special interests who had any influence were the ones who represented the employees in the system. But now the kids have a union of their own, and they’re called parents,” he added.
Indeed, it’s parents who’ve been showing up to school board hearings to fight back against school mask mandates, inappropriate school curricula, and LGBT indoctrination.
Inappropriate for children’: Missouri mom accuses son’s school of trying to hide race-based lessons from parents https://t.co/aSavBCRwEJ
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) May 1, 2021
“School choice is a winner for everybody except for Randi Weingarten and the teachers’ unions who want to trap your kids in schools that aren’t working for them,” DeAngelis said.
Weingarten is the president of the most powerful teachers’ union, the American Federation of Teachers, and she has a history of bashing school choice efforts.
In fact, when a Democrat New York City mayoral candidate expressed support for school choice policies back in 2021, Weingarten flipped the script and cried foul.
“I’m incredibly disappointed to see Kathryn Garcia go this route with charters. She’s embraced the unacceptable policy of lifting the charter cap in NYC. Now.. Two minutes be4 early voting starts. Wondering why?” she tweeted.
According to Fox News, the number of charter schools allowed in New York State has been limited to 460 since the passage of a law in 2010. But surprisingly, Garcia was one of a few Democrats who supported nixing it.
“I do support raising the charter cap because I want every kid to have the opportunity. It’s become too political. Like you’re not pure enough on this or that. I just don’t feel that way,” she’d said during a 2021 election debate.
Weingarten has, for her part, argued that allowing school choice and the proliferation of charter schools would effectively mean defunding public education. DeAngelis was not impressed by this argument.
Indeed, he told Fox News that the argument sounds like an “admission that they’re not confident in the product that they’re providing.”
“Why would giving families a choice defund public schools that you staff?” he added.
Good question, especially when you factor in how poorly public schools are currently performing:
NEW: Illinois –
– 30 schools have 0 students proficient in reading
– 53 schools have 0 students proficient in math
Taxpayers spend ~$20,500 / student in those schools
Our government-run K-12 system is devastating generations of our kids.
We desperately need school choice.
— Tommy Schultz (@Tommy_USA) February 15, 2023
He continued by arguing that the goal isn’t and has never been to defund or demean public schools, but rather to allow parents/children greater freedom.
“We don’t want to destroy the public schools. We want to make them better. When you inject competition into that system, the district starts to allocate more resources into the classroom so they don’t upset parents, and they have to compete for the employees,” he explained.
School choice would also allow impoverished families to access the same sort of educational opportunities as their wealthier counterparts, DeAngelis contended.
“Why should they be forced into this one-size-fits-all system? School choice is an equalizer,” he said.
Listen to his full remarks below:
To the establishment left, the school choice movement is of course nothing but a dishonest, corrupt “culture war battle.”
Writing for The Hill Timothy Head of the Faith & Freedom Coalition argued otherwise.
“The fight for parental rights in school choice is more than an administrative one. It’s not a ‘culture war,’ either. It’s a fight for the integrity of our families, of our children’s futures, and for the basic constitutionally-ordered liberties upon which our nation was founded,” he wrote.
“Parental rights are important because the project of education itself is at stake: Education, the enterprise that will prepare America’s next generation of fathers, mothers, entrepreneurs, justices, tradesmen, educators, preachers and legislators for their life’s work,” he added.
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