The narrative of people who oppose ‘school choice’ is well documented. The same talking points are brought up again and again and usually dominate the conversation. It’s time to re-frame the narrative, get real about the misinformation being spread and lead these conversations with a children-first line of thought. Here are Citizen Stewart‘s 26 new rules for the education reform debate:
1. If you’ve never agonized about selecting a school for your kid, don’t oppose choice.
2. If you aren’t currently responsible for closing the achievement gap, shut up about those who are – you are not an expert. Just listen.
3. If you don’t believe that poor children and children of color can learn at high levels, don’t teach in their schools.
4. If you benefited from a private school education, don’t come up with fancy reasons to deny others the same.
5. If your only experience in teaching low-income students is bad experience, don’t write a book about education.
6. Do not oppose School Reform until you are willing to put your child in the worst performing school in your city.
7. On Twitter, don’t start none, won’t be none.
8. If your public school is so exclusive that it might as well be private, don’t rail about privatization in education.
9. If you’ve never raised a black child, don’t argue with black parents about what’s best for black children.
10. There are no experts on teaching black students in America. At best you are all students of teaching black students.
11. Don’t exchange studies written by people who have failed schools in their past.
12. If your doctorate is in Amazonian trees with an focus on intersectionality, don’t argue with economists about education statistics.
13. Union funding is as suspicious as any funding. You are not pure and neither is your agenda. Don’t be a tool.
14. Great instruction, great teachers, and great schools make a difference. All children can learn.
15. There is nothing liberal about demanding historically oppressed people to turn their children over to the state to be educated.
16. Only a damn fool looks to their enemy for ideas about educating their own children.
17. Public education and public schooling are two different concepts
18. There is nothing Democratic about selecting education leaders through low-turnout elections overwhelmed by public worker money.
19. Any meeting of education professionals that doesn’t touch on student outcomes is the wrong meeting.
20. An employee occupies a classroom. To call your self an “educator,” you must have observable results.
21. Stop hoping for one-best-system to educate “all kids.” It sounds like a compassionate goal, but given the unique needs of kids it’s not
22. Yes, poverty matters, which is why you should teach your ass off, or quit.
23. The revolution will be literate and numerate. Test scores matter.
24. Black achievement is not dependent on proximity to whiteness. Integration is not a panacea, and sometimes it’s social suicide.
25. America has thousands of half-empty urban schools. Let’s not “talk” about integration or evil school closures. Solve both, enroll now.
26. Concerned about schools “choosing their students”? Call your Congress members and ask for a ban on using addresses to enroll students.
What say you? Tweet us your favorite @EdCitizen