The reflexive question asked, often politely, by critics of choice is why should we not simply fix the broken schools first? If only schools received more funding, they say, the schools could provide a better learning environment for those being left behind.I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but we should not pretend that the status quo is acceptable.
Sure, various approaches to education policy should be hotly debated, and they certainly are. But making sure that all of our kids get a great education — how could it be a partisan issue? Everyone — in both parties — should support equal opportunity in education, regardless of a child’s income, Zip code or family circumstances.
The point is to provide quality options that serve students so each of them can grow. Every option should be held accountable, but they should be directly accountable to parents and communities, not to Washington, D.C., bureaucrats.In order to succeed, education must commit to excellence and innovation to better meet the needs of individual students. Defenders of our current system have regularly been resistant to any meaningful change. In resisting, these “flat-Earthers” have chilled creativity and stopped American kids from competing at the highest levels. Our current framework is a closed system that relies on one-size-fits-all solutions. We need an open system that envelopes choices and embraces the future.
First, a brief tour of the worldview of a flat-earther: While writing off buckets of concrete evidence that Earth is spherical, they readily accept a laundry list of propositions that some would call ludicrous. The leading flat-Earther theory holds that Earth is a disc with the Arctic Circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150-foot-tall wall of ice, around the rim. NASA employees, they say, guard this ice wall to prevent people from climbing over and falling off the disc. Earth’s day and night cycle is explained by positing that the sun and moon are spheres measuring 32 miles (51 kilometers) that move in circles 3,000 miles (4,828 km) above the plane of the Earth. (Stars, they say, move in a plane 3,100 miles up.) Like spotlights, these celestial spheres illuminate different portions of the planet in a 24-hour cycle. Flat-earthers believe there must also be an invisible “antimoon” that obscures the moon during lunar eclipses.Furthermore, Earth’s gravity is an illusion, they say.