Ackerman: School Choice Necessary to Reform Failing Schools

Case for School ChoiceIn case you missed it, former Philadelphia superintendent Arlene Ackerman emphatically endorsed vouchers and an expanded charter school system as the best way to rescue kids in failing schools.  She writes:

Before my tenure as superintendent of the Philadelphia School District, I had always believed the best way to improve access to quality education for low-income families was to implement needed reforms from within the education system. Recently, I’ve come to a sad realization. Real reform will never come from within the system because too many powers that be (the teachers’ union, politicians, consultants, vendors, etc.) have a vested interested in maintaining the status quo that is failing our children.

Ackerman argues that reform from within has been unacceptably slow, and estimates it will take at least another decade before students reach grade-level proficiency in math and reading in failing urban schools. The lag consigns “an increasing percentage of African American and Latino males to the criminal-justice system and an increasing percentage of Philadelphians [to] be sentenced to a permanent underclass requiring increased social services.”

Ackerman makes a powerful case for school choice, especially because she’s an educator with 43 years in the public school system.