Skip to main content

Join the Community

or Close

Search

Taking public schools back to the future

The new year will likely be a defining moment for public education. President-Elect Donald Trump has selected a nominee for Secretary of Education in Betsy DeVos that has a history of supporting school choice and non-public school vouchers. In my own state of Florida, school choice and vouchers has been part of the discussion for years and will continue to be so. What that looks like at a local school level remains to be seen.

I can understand the attractiveness of expanding school choice for parents. Where to enroll your child can be a complex decision, influenced by numerous social, economic, religious, and philosophical factors. Parents want what is best for their children, and charter and private schools can be the answer.

School choice has some negatives. Voucher programs take money away from already cash-strapped districts. Private schools do not have the same types of oversight. Charter schools have an inconsistent record of financial stability or improved student performance. And I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the numerous state and federal laws and regulations that govern these kind of types of choices (i.e. public money to private companies, separation of church and state).

I have the same concerns. However, I’d rather fight for something than against something. I believe public school districts and teachers should make their own choices, to adapt and make the changes necessary for our schools to be the schools of choice for parents. It’s time to take public schools back to the future by expanding and promoting existing, effective programs. What does that look like? Programs that put student needs first.

Teacher-Powered Schools. Schools that are student-centered, designed and run by teachers with the autonomy to make the best choices for students.  

Project-Based Learning. Student learning fueled by hands on experience with real-world problem solving.

Community Schools. School and community partnerships that provide support for academics, health, and social services.

Hybrid Instruction. A blend of traditional face-to-face instruction and online self-directed learning.

Public schools have been given a gift, a forewarning about what’s to come and an opportunity to change for the better for our kids. I’m not naïve enough to think it will be easy or fast, but it can and has been done. The sooner the better.

2 Comments

marshal mick commented on January 26, 2017 at 6:03pm:

Public Schools Back To The Future

Hi Julie Hiltz! First I like admire about your writing is very impressive according ot my judgement. Moslty these kinds of blog post got me inspired and to my work. Pacific Cambria University Website. Anyway I desire to check this website once again in the future after completing my task.

Tony S commented on April 4, 2017 at 7:45pm:

Never saw your point...

I have always been in favor of school choice but never saw it how it could end up hurting already money strapped schools for some of their funding. Also the oversight on how the money would be spent. Interesting points. I'm just a general contractor in Paso Robles, CA and my property taxes are crazy high. Sometimes the whole thing to kids getting a great education is from their parents participating and being involved with what their school and schoolwork. Sad to say... Some parents just don't care. 

Subscribe to Blogs by Julie Hiltz

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive the latest news and events through email!

Sign Up