National School Choice Week: A Tale of Two Missions

28 01 2012

Well, National School Choice Week is wrapping up, and I’ve enjoyed doing a little more research into the subject and weighing the pros and cons of the related issues. I’m still not completely sold on the entire idea, and it’s hard not to take it personally when “bad teachers” and “bad schools” are blamed for all of the ills of the education world. But I’m more than willing to concede that there are major issues confronting the public education system, and they’re not being addressed. Period.

To wrap things up, I came across a link to a brief documentary on the topic by Juan Williams, formerly of NPR and currently about the only liberal-minded guy on FOX News. From the website:

“A Tale of Two Missions” – a film by Juan Williams and Kyle Olson – tells the story of competing cultures in American education through examples from Chicago.

While the fight for school choice rages across the nation, perhaps no better example exists than that of the Windy City. Traditional alliances are breaking down. Both political parties are pushing for education reform and expanded school choice. The status quo is under attack, because most reasonable people understand that thousands of Chicago students are trapped in failing schools.

But the education establishment, led by the radical Chicago Teachers Union, is not willing to give an inch to allow better choices for underserved students. And the union still has enough money, influence and legal standing to make reform efforts difficult to implement.

The film features the Noble Street College Prep charter school and the amazing results its teachers and leaders are delivering for students and parents of Chicago. It also exposes the entrenched educational establishment bent on stifling school choice options and preserving its monopoly on state education dollars.

Here’s the “internet-only abridged version,” which runs about five or six minutes shorter than the full, DVD-only version.

For more information, check out the film’s website, here:




One response

28 01 2012

Its certainly not all about “bad teachers” or “bad schools” (though certainly there are some of both, as in any profession), more I think, its about poor choices in resourcing (how schools are allocated funds and what is done with those funds), excessive involvement from the federal level, and to some extent an over reliance on technology. Obviously that is dumbing it down way too far, but I think that hits on many of the main points. Not all kids are the same, they don’t come from the same place (physically or mentally) and schools seem to have gone way too far towards making everything the “same” for all students.

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