NYT Readers Respond to Heather Gautney’s Critique of "School Choice"

ST Collective Member Heather Gautney recently published a letter to the editor in The New York Times critiquing the ideology of “choice” that underwrites the privatization of education and “[exacerbates] the problem of ‘apartheid’ schooling.”

newyorktimes-logo_x200
Click here to read the debate.

From her initial letter:

“School choice” does not really involve choice for many American children. It’s a privilege that enables some parents to opt their children out of public schools. These trends pose a no-win ethical dilemma for parents, especially those in big cities: Do we personally invest in our public schools by sending our kids to them, even if that means walking through metal detectors to get to class, coping with high teacher turnover, and having only limited access to academic and extracurricular resources? Or should we provide the best opportunities our privilege can buy, at the expense of things like diversity and social justice that we all claim to value? …

Education is a microcosm of a host of problems linked to social inequality. In the United States, “public” has come to signify the bottom of the barrel. But it should denote our concerted best, what we can achieve when we put our minds — and our wallets — together.

Many readers have submitted responses to the initial letter, and Gautney has since chimeed in with a final note.

Read the thread in its entirely on The New York Times’ website.

 

Related Posts

New from a Social Text Author: The Citizen Machine The Citizen Machine: Governing by Television in 1950s America by Anna McCarthyFormed in the shadow of the early Cold War, amid the first stirrings of the civil rights movement, the idea of television as a form of unofficial government inspired corporate executives, foundation officers, and othe...
The World Cup III: In The Stadium's Shadow     Fifteen years after the new South Africa's first democratic elections, the dream of a true, non-racial, economically just "Rainbow Nation" endures. But so too do the inequalities of race and class that are the legacy of apartheid and its colonialist antecedents. In April of 2009 Jacob Zuma...
Beasts of the Southern Wild – The Romance of Precarity I After the opening shot of a dilapidated house, Beasts of the Southern Wild begins mise-en-scène with a tight close-up of the house's interior, the screen filled with small brown crossed legs, a cluttered dirty floor, and a small brown hand holding a dirty bowl, and pouring water on a mound of dirt...
Take Artists Space: Dissensus and the Creation of Agonistic Space   "What does it mean to be uninvited?" This is the question Benjamin Buchloh posed in response to the work of Christopher D'Arcangelo exhibited at Artists Space in October 2011. D'Arcangelo created unauthorized anarchist interventions into the gallery and erased his name from its exhibition rec...

Heather Gautney