In this Educational Reform Arena stakeholders are myriad but the directly-affected grow ever fewer.

No different from the consolidation and vertical integration of the rest of American Industry, from, say, AgriBiz to HealthCare to Film Entertainment, the playbook from corporate titans is really pretty remarkably invariant.  Not only do you Buy Low/Sell High and depress costs by dismantling societal encumbrances (e.g., social contract, unions, community responsibility, etc), but critically, it’s important to homogenize variety, to remove quality with its concomitant lows that ‘enable’ exuberant highs, and substitute predictability in its stead.  Success lies in culling the population of mavericks, in stilling the voice of dissent.

And so it feels very lonely as a card-carrying member of the educated-class, to be objecting to the dismantling of our public educational system.  Keenly the voices of so many kindred thoughtful are muted as they opt from the system one by one following all the rest in front and behind them.  We none of us actually know what education is, not the constitution of good teaching or the metrics of successful learning or even the constituency of what it is that we want.

But as parents we do know this:  we cannot afford the statistical error of equating a population with an individual, we cannot conduct a theoretical experiment designed for the very many, on a sample of just one, our own singular child.

This is the dilemma of every single parent with the means or wherewithal to opt out of our public education system.  It is the inherent paradox of the objector.  If you perceive a problem and can make it go away simply by leaving, any failure to mitigate the problem, say through such a departure, results in your own culpability for enabling it.  Conversely, any follow-through with removal by opting out of the public system, renders one’s perspective permanently filtered by remove.

Which begs the whole question:  ¿ Is education any better in private schools ?

Apart from the obvious that the huge diversity between ‘private schools’, results in no availability of some average, representative, measure of private school excellence —  after stripping the question of this non-specificity, its transcendental core remains:  what is Education?  Is there any credible way to answer that generally?

The Corporate Educational Reformists seem to suggest that by limiting the educational universe through a narrow curriculum and a segregated, uniform audience isolated within modest, independent, corporatized schools, the diversity of what composes education, which is so transcendentally different between individuals, can be renounced.

This is the gameplan of monopoly, to concentrate power among ever-fewer by eliminating variety and lowering cost, thereby depressing quality, interest and individuality.  This sterility is derived by attrition as one after another objector leaves.  The reasons for cocooning inside a smaller, more responsive, more giving and forgiving system are plain to understand.  The morality for denying its benefits to one and all are not.

Every parent, every child, every person in our country deserves an education that is excellent, for themselves and for everyone around them.  We can afford to offer it and we have a moral imperative to do so. As I understand it, strong public education is a pillar of our very political democracy; it is a basic tenet of human civil rights.  The generality stands for the many and the one alike, the trick is to figure out what it means:  what is a good education?  Those who leave the offerings of the corporately homogenized vote with their feet; they may not know what constitutes good education, but they know bad when they see it.  As the ranks thin of those who understand this viscerally, their vested plea for independence and social justice echoes ever-fainter among the left-behinds.

Our current educational system is breathtakingly efficient at sorting children by families of means, color, political passion and cultural spirit.  But we must be sustaining institutions that serve everyone equally.  In a democracy, Reforming schools into uniform puddles of thin sameness may serve a corporate monopoly, but it does not serve the needs of individuals.