5th National School Choice Week Celebrated Nationwide

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Parents, students, and teachers across the country are celebrating the fifth annual National School Choice Week, the largest celebration of school choice in the US that hopes to raise awareness of the benefits of having options in education for all students.

This year, K12 inc. will be joining the celebration as well:

“We are excited to celebrate National School Choice Week,” said Nate Davis, Chairman and CEO of K12 Inc. “K12 is a company of educators with thousands of teachers and school leaders who dedicate themselves every day to putting students first. We are proud of how all of our school partnerships have expanded educational opportunities for children.”

The opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange was rung by students from Newark Prep, a blended charter school in New Jersey that makes use of K12′s academic programs, in celebration of Monday’s official start to National School Choice Week.

Over 11,000 events will be taking place this week across the country that highlight the importance of school choice and how it can improve a child’s education and in turn, their future.  California alone as 990 events planned for the week.

Gloria Romero for The Sacramento Bee argues that too many students are ending up in prison in California due to the underfunding of the public school system in the state, noting that 70% of inmates in the state do not hold a high school diploma.  She continues to suggest that minority students such as poor, Black and Latino students are suspended at a much higher rate than their white peers.  Doing so could possibly cause the underlying reason for the problems, such as illiteracy, to go unnoticed.

According to a 2006 study out of Stanford University, a child in third grade who is illiterate is more likely to participate in activities that lead to suspension and expulsion.  A national assessment has found that the average inmate has a literacy score that is 18 to 22 points lower than the average American who is not in prison.

In addition, national data shows that 74% of high school seniors are not proficient in math, and 62% are not proficient in reading.  This results in 42% of students in two-year colleges and 39% in four-year schools will need to take remedial classes in order to learn what they did not learn in high school.

This lack of knowledge has turned into an economic liability, writes Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week, in The Daily Caller.  A study by McKinsey & Company found “a persistent gap in academic achievement…deprived the US economy of as much as $2.3 trillion in economic output” in only one year – meaning that if the problem is allowed to continue, it will only get worse.

Because there is no one-size-fits-all model for the best method to teach every child, advocates say that school choice is needed in order to allow children to learn at the school that suits them the best.