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COVID silver lining: Public schools lose vice-grip monopoly on educating kids

Teachers unions better be careful what they wish for — they are not only exposing themselves as selfish, indulgent hucksters by overplaying their hand with the COVID fear porn, but they’re also sending droves of parents off in search of unique ways to educate their kids in place of public schools.

Writing for Reason, J.D. Tuccille points out that viewpoint diversity is getting a boost as families flee public schools:

But government-run schools are going to have a smaller captive audience this year. While they’ve been slowly losing ground for a long time to charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling, many of them alienated large numbers of families this spring with clumsy responses to the spread of COVID-19. Fumbled implementation of distance learning, cavalier attitudes toward work done remotely, and confusion over when and how (and even if) schools will reopen have parents looking to alternatives.

Interest is way up now across the country in charter schoolsprivate schools, and, especially, various DIY approaches including homeschooling and learning pods or microschools. To millions of families, these independent options hold out a better chance of delivering education safely and effectively than government institutions that keep dropping the ball and are too bureaucratic to handle a world in flux.

Independent education also means a wide range of approaches as to what children are taught, far beyond the red vs. blue, Texas vs. California choice in government-selected textbooks. Parents choosing their children’s education select options that suit them and, to the extent that they care, convey their values or, at least, don’t offend their sensibilities. …

This year, as growing numbers of those diverse American families take responsibility for their children’s education away from failing government institutions, they’ll also take responsibility for the contents of that education. The result is going to be an increased range of opinions, values, and interpretations to be shared and debated by students who otherwise would have been doomed to a force-feeding of officially approved ideas. The pandemic may be threatening our health and breaking our economy, but it may, ultimately, expand our minds.

Read the entire column at Reason.

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