Charter Schools: School Choice in New Orleans Means No Choices for Parents

One of the many tired claims of “free-market” loving, pro-consumerist millionaires and billionaires behind nonprofit and for-profit charter schools is that charter schools “empower parents” to “choose” which school to send their child to. Charter schools, according to the top one percent, should be one of many options available to families. Taking social responsibility to invest in, defend, and strengthen real public schools that have been around for more than a century and a half is not part of the agenda of major owners of capital. Instead, the rich and their representatives routinely valorize “choice” and treat it as the end-all and be-all. Indeed, you are un-American if you oppose “choice.”

Unfortunately, thousands of families in New Orleans have no real school choices because all schools in New Orleans are charter schools. There are no public schools around anymore. They have all been eliminated by the rich and their state.

What happens if a parent in New Orleans does not want to enroll their child in a charter school and wants to send their child to a public school instead? What about teachers in New Orleans who do not want to work in a charter school but prefer to teach in a public school?

So much for “choice.”

“Choice” in New Orleans has effectively coerced parents, teachers, and students right out of any real educational choices.

Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at Read other articles by Shawgi.