Public Schools Respond to Choice in Columbus

This Week has an article which provides a real world example of what school choice might mean for American families; an education which meets their child’s needs. Columbus Public Schools, now that they are facing competition have decided that it is time to start responding to parent concerns.

Saying it’s time to take a direct role in addressing parents’ concerns about district schools, the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education pledged to create a vision statement to guide policies that will strengthen the city schools and keep students from leaving.

It seems now that 7,000 have left for charter schools it is time to create a vision statement.  Or perhaps the private vouchers to be introduced in the fall have something to do with it.  More likely it is both these things combined with a poll that showed that the

number of parents who say they will remove their children from CPS grew larger than one-in-nine, when charter school and voucher options were explained to them.

At that point, the poll showed that 21 percent of parents would pull their children out given the chance.

“There is a growing receptivity to other kinds of schools,” said Mark Real, KidsOhio executive director.

The “tipping point” on whether to keep a child in the district is “whether or not the child’s individual needs are being met,” he said.

That could mean that a smart child getting all A’s leaves because he is not being challenged enough, or a child is failing despite attending a highly rated school, said Real.