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

Arab Talk Interview: Neferti Tadiar on Palestine Arab Talk recently posted an archived interview with Social Text Collective Member and Co-Editor Neferti X. M. Tadiar about her trip to Palestine in 2012, sponsored by the USACBI. You can also read Tadiar's article "Why the Question of Palestine is a Feminist Question" on the Social Text website,...
The People's Microphone "Mic check!" The shouted exclamation punctuates the days at Occupy Wall Street (OWS). A lone voice yells it from somewhere in the crowd, soliciting the hoped-for response, "mic check!" yelled back by all within earshot of the initial call. Often the response is weak the first time around. Maybe the ...
Afro-Punk 2012: Apocalypse All skinfolk ain't kinfolk -- an ole and fitting saying from my long-ago Red, Black & Green Liberation upbringing that could be well applied to the Sixth Annual installment of the New York City-based Afro-Punk Festival. Last week, there were some blogospheric lenses shed on the potential problem...
10 Year WTO/Seattle Protest Anniversary We are right around the corner from the tenth anniversary of the street protests that erupted on the streets of Seattle. To commemorate this anniversary, there are a slew of talks, screening, and events around the country. In NYC on Sunday at the Change You Want to See there will be a double movie s...

Heather Gautney