My husband and I have always been blessed with enough of an income that the educational choices we make for our kids are based more on our children's needs than on what is "affordable." We also both share a commitment to jointly take the responsibility for making sure our kids are taught in whatever manner is best for them at a given time in their lives. We've kept on top of the ever-growing choices in education and taken advantage of them – we've had our children in public schools, private schools and we even homeschooled them for five years.
My term for what we practice is "parent-directed education," as in parents are in charge, parents make the decisions and parents do the research to support those decisions. For involved moms and dads, for those who can and will take the time to truly study what is best for their children each year, the freedom to choose from among those three options or others – such as charter schools – is a tremendous blessing.
At the same time, I realize that I'm lucky. I know there are a lot of good, dedicated parents out there who can't do what I do. It's quite amazing that the educational establishment continues to fight against the ability of poor families to have greater educational choices for their children. But I'm happy to report that those who would deny families choices are beginning to lose their battle for control.
A few examples of the emerging educational choices that are liberating more and more children from second-rate, crime-ridden schools: