Ten years on
This week, a lot of people are talking about the US Supreme Court! Perhaps you – like me – have been glued to your television sets and to your Twitter feeds, receiving instant analysis of the many key decisions handed down this week.
For those of us focused on improving access to great schools for all children, the past several days have also given us the opportunity to dig back into our news vaults and commemorate the anniversary of an important legal victory for children across America.
Ten years ago this week, the US Supreme Court – in the landmark Zelman case – upheld the Constitutionality of private school choice, paving the way for dramatic growth in all sectors of school choice in the ten years since.
Indeed, the landscape for school choice – in all of its many forms – is remarkably different today than it was in 2002.
Public school choice – in the form of public charter schools, open enrollment, magnet schooling, and even public online education – has grown by leaps and bounds, reaching millions of children. Private school choice programs benefit families in more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia, benefiting a quarter million kids. Homeschooling is more popular than ever before. And virtual education is forging a unique bond between traditional learning and cutting-edge new technology.
It's been a tremendous 10 years of growth. But is there more work to be done to expand the options that parents have? Without question! That’s why we like to say that National School Choice Week provides an unprecedented opportunity to not only celebrate school choice where it exists – but to demand it where it does not! And we're proud that individuals and organizations representing all different aspects of the school choice movement, from all political parties and ideologies, have come together under the National School Choice Week banner to demand new and better opportunities for children across the country.
And so, as you prepare to celebrate Independence Day next week, take a moment and think of how many additional children can benefit from the freedom that comes with effective educational options. And think, too, how much of an impact we can make in the next 10 years, if we stick together and keep fighting for what is right during celebrations like National School Choice Week, which help demonstrate the unity and positive excitement that is so essential for the long-term success of our collective work.