Giving Compass' Take:

• The Center for Reinventing Public Education believes that school choice is meant to elevate and expand flexible learning opportunities for students as a means of empowerment. 

• Understanding the basis and success of school choice is essential. However, what are some of the critiques that educators should address regarding school choice? 

• Read more about the debate over school choice and how to educate children. 

National School Choice Week is a time for advocates of school choice to celebrate. I see it as an opportunity to reflect and think about what needs to come next.

This year, we at the Center on Reinventing Public Education are celebrating our 25th anniversary. Since 1994, we have posited and tested ways to allow families to choose schools that fit their needs and give educators the autonomy to create them, without losing sight of the public interest in education.

We have watched many public and privately funded choice programs evolve and expand, and reported that in most cities, families have affirmed their desire for more good options. School choice is now the new normal. We’ve focused on how a portfolio of options can meet the diverse needs of communities. We’ve tried to be equal-opportunity truth tellers, continuously urging civic leaders and public officials across the country to do a better job meeting student and family needs.

To be sure, school choice advocates have earned the right to celebrate. Much has been accomplished, especially on behalf of low-income students. But as we look forward, we are increasingly convinced of the need to think in new ways.

Now there are signs that the improvements in those cities are beginning to plateau. Further progress will require continued innovation.

Across the country, school systems struggle to meet the needs of the most complex learners and to serve the students most deeply affected by trauma and generational poverty. There are also signs that the definition of an “effective” school must be revisited as we learn more about what best promotes child and adolescent learning, the limits of standardized testing and the need for students to question and create, not just comply.

Read the full article about school choice by Robin Lake at The 74