Privatization v. School Choice: What do you believe?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), legislatures around the country have enacted different forms of school choice to provide parents and guardians with an alternative to local schools. Most common among the public school choice policies are charter schools. There are 42 states and the District of Columbia that have legislated charter schools. In addition, 27 states and the District of Columbia have programs for choosing private schools in lieu of public schools.

School choice or privatization, depending on your perspective, is very contentious. Below you will find six (6) short videos each addressing a range of issues and perspectives about school choice and/or privatization.

  • You have been assigned a number between 1 and 6 that corresponds to one of the following six (6) relatively brief videos.
  • Please watch your assigned video.
  • While watching, take notes so that you can articulate the main argument and ideological perspective of the video you watched.
  • Working with a partner, compare and contrast your two videos.  What do they share in common?  How do they differ? Why?
  • Create a diagram that visually represents your comparison.
  • Share your diagram with the class.

Based on this work, class discussions, and assigned readings, write a brief essay about what you believe.  What are the main issues? Do you support school choice plans? Do you believe that school choice is an initiative to advance equal opportunity in education for all students or is it a thinly veiled strategy to privatize public education? (~250 words | Assignment Due Friday | 3 November)

One | Why Good Teachers Want School Choice


Two | Why Schools Are Privatized – Noam Chomsky


Three | What is School Choice?


Four | Charter Schools: The Privatization of Public Education

Five | School Choice – Who Opposes it and Why?


Six | Education Inc., Trailer