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There seems to be the misconception that school choice advocates are either vigilante parents or rebel educators. They visualize parents storming the school with pitchforks and torches to rescue their children. They picture teachers and administrators leaping ninja-like to the other side of the fence to rage against the system. They couldn’t be more wrong. Take me, for example. I have yet to have any children, I’m not connected to the educational system in any way, and I love school choice. For the record, I do not own a torch and have never leapt a wall.
I’m fairly new to the world of school choice. Since I don’t have any traditional reason to be involved, I was only vaguely aware of the need for education reform. Then, in the summer of 2011, I wrote a children’s book as a birthday gift to my friend’s son. I started hearing from parents about how this information, simple facts about America, was not covered in schools, and that the American educational system was failing children. Once I started hearing these stories, I learned more and more on the topic. That opened my eyes to the need for educational reform and, through that, to the great possibilities for children available through school choice.
I think a lot of people are confused when a person who is not directly involved (basically, parents and teachers) speaks out on education reform. What they fail to see, however, is that we are all involved. Generations of poorly educated children hurt American society. Education is not one-size-fits all and it is a civil-rights issue. Children should not be trapped in failing schools due to their zip code. Why shouldn’t schools have to compete for children? It will drive schools, administrators, and educators to be better and that will benefit every child. Someday, those children will be grown and running things.
School choice effects everybody, and it’s time we all got on board. Even if you don’t have a child, will never have children, don’t even particularly like children, get involved. With every generation, it becomes more urgent. More and more “outsiders” like me are joining the fight every day and, hopefully, America’s future is looking a little brighter because of it.