Teachers need choice too

By Kimberly Sawatka

Educational choice conversations typically center around empowering parents and students with more options for success, but a missing piece is the empowerment of teachers through choice options too.

Today, many teachers spend more of their time dealing with the red tape and paperwork of the public school system bureaucracies than teaching in the classroom. Curriculum and activities are dictated as a one-size-fits-all model. “Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year,”  according to a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education stated in an article by nprEd.

Creating more educational choice options for parents and students, also means teachers have more options to to maximize their expertise, creativity and pursue their passion for teaching – which equals better outcomes for students.

In Florida two teachers have taken advantage of the multiple educational choice options and started their own private school. These two teachers strongly felt the need to provide more quality education options to at-risk, low-income students.  Using the tax credit scholarship program and their personal savings in order to open the school, they tailored the curriculum to each individual child’s needs taking students from grades of Ds to As.

With educational choice, teachers now have more power than ever to impact the classroom and the lives of students.

David J. Ferrero, a former public school teacher, stated it best in his article “Why Choice is Good for Teachers,” when he said, “In short, a system of school choice would prove more satisfying for educators because it could foster the creation of cohesive learning communities based on common beliefs about teaching and learning.”

 

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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the school founded by the two teachers, Danita Jones and Nate Smith, as being a public charter school, however, the school they founded is a private school that benefits from the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.