Expanding Choices

IALA promotes learning alternatives for all. One size education does not fit all: therefore, options must be made available. That’s the direction for the future. Here are two resources highly supportive of that aim.

The Brown Center on Educational Policy at the Brookings Institution has published “Expanding Choice In Elementary and Secondary Education: A Report on Rethinking the Federal Role in Education,” a 31 page report. It says, “The types of school choice now available include choice among traditional public schools within districts (intra–district choice), choice between school districts (inter-district choice), charter schools, school vouchers, virtual schools, and finally, the oldest and most pervasive form of school choice–choice of school when selecting one’s residence.” The report describes each of these with pros and cons. The report recommends expanding choices so that all parents of school-age children have options to better meet needs and values. This requires more choices and well designed information systems. “The reauthorization of ESEA should incentivize districts to establish open enrollment plans such as those currently in place in New York City and Boston.” A well-written valuable report with references.

Also noted is the  National Center on School Choice at Vanderbilt University. Their federally funded work appears to be primarily the publication of scholarly papers and books on the topic.

IALA promotes giving schools greater autonomy over program, staffing and budget; multiple measures for gauging program effectiveness; flexible licensure; and, pilot programs as a way of supporting innovation. See position paper.