Rebecca Hagelin

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:

  • As of May, 40 states and the District of Columbia had adopted laws that allow for charter schools – public, open-admission schools that operate free of the traditional public-school bureaucracy so they can foster innovation among teachers and, hopefully, improve learning among students.

  • Some states have initiated tax credits parents can use to send their kids to private schools, public schools outside their districts, or for costs associated with home schooling and on-line schools.

  • Several places now have full-blown or developing voucher programs to enable kids in failing schools to escape to better-performing private and parochial schools.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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