In his recent address at the National Summit of the American Federation for Children in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett made an important point about the state of public education.
“For years, we’ve talked about failing schools,” Corbett said. “Now, in addition to talking about failing schools, we find ourselves talking about dangerous schools. How on Earth –how on Earth—is a child whose own parents see no other kind of school other than a failing school, supposed to learn basic mathematics, reading and literature?”
Many Americans are asking that same question.
Gov. Corbett, who called public education the nation’s “most important domestic item,” offered a solution to the problem: school choice.
Corbett told the audience that school choice gives students and parents access to better schools, and explained that increased competition strengthens the traditional public schools.
School choice gives students mobility to find a school that best meets their needs, Corbett said. And to make student mobility possible, school funding must be made portable.
“It’s the child’s money,” he said in a video produced by EAGtv. “It’s the parents’ money.”
Corbett also made the case for increased school accountability.
“To me, the only culture some of our schools perpetuate is that of an educational industry that ensures a guaranteed income for those who can hang on long enough for tenure,” said Corbett.
“We need an educational workforce of strivers, not survivors.”
Corbett also explained that public schools use a labor-management school model which puts the focus on the teacher, parent, and child – in that order.
“That’s entirely backward …. That’s not a system that makes schools work for children,” he said.
As the push for school choice continues across the country, it’s clear that Corbett has joined the ranks of governors who are serious about reforming –and saving—public education.
And it all comes down to school choice, an idea whose time has come.