Americans value their right to choice. Having options and selecting the one that best fits you is a part of our daily lives. From your child’s doctor to your bank, we want to find and choose what will contribute to our family having happier, healthier and more successful lives. With unanimous support for choice in almost anything else, why not support school choice too? Don’t the same factors come into play? I want my children to have happy, healthy and successful lives, so having school options and the power to choose for my student is invaluable.
School choice is an important right that families value and for good reason. As a parent organization, here are our top three ways school choice benefits families.
1. Families can research, visit and select the school that best meets their students’ needs.
Education is not one size fits all. Schools have varying resources, personnel training and support services. While one student can adapt quickly, another may need additional help or attention. If a student cannot receive the specialized services he or she requires, frustration may set in and their love of learning can be lost. Being able to match your child’s needs to the school that can meet those needs is priceless.
2. Schools offer various curriculum options, which allows students to develop their interests and talents.
To school, students bring their unique interests and talents. Celebrating and developing those talents can help students thrive at school and in life. From STEM or computer science to agriculture or music – thanks to school choice, families can choose the school that offers the curriculum that aligns with their student.
3. Families can choose the school culture that best fits them.
When a family is engaged in its student’s learning and school, everyone benefits. From the student to the teaching staff to the school at large, family engagement is one of the keys to success. As school cultures can differ, it is vital that families can select the school where they feel comfortable and happy. The feeling of trust can lead to the development of closer relationships within the school and to families becoming more invested in the school. School choice allows families to evaluate school cultures and decide which coordinates best with their values.
School choice is not a new idea, and in fact, it has been around for years. With money, you could evaluate a list of private schools with different offerings in curriculum, resources and neighborhoods. Now, all families, despite their economic situation, have the same option within the public school system. School choice has allowed students and families to access new and equitable educational opportunities and given them the power to choose.
This Saturday, September 24, Metro Nashville Public Schools will be hosting the School Choice Festival. Visit MNPS’s School Choice Festival event page for details.
*This blog was written with insight and guidance from Nashville Rise parent Angelina Rollins.