Denver’s recent municipal election included a two-way race for an at-large school board seat. Neither candidate would win a “Libertarian of the Year” contest, but surprisingly, each expressed a tinge of libertarian thought. Mary Seawell is open to charter schools. While not exactly embracing them, she seems to show an understanding of the need for them as part of school system reform. Christopher Scott does not embrace charter schools, but believes that educational decision-making is too centralized and should be driven back down to the neighborhood level.
So which of these candidates should be in charge of our children’s education? The following comment from Seawell settled my vote: “Somewhere between 40-50% of students in the North designated area are choicing into a school other than their assigned high school.” Excuse me? They are what?
If I still had children of school age in this district, I would be happy if they learned how to choose a school. It wouldn’t bother me to find that they had eventually chosen a school. But I certainly would not want to risk the possibility that they might end up “choicing into” anything.
My wife, a wonderful teacher, retired after 30 years of service (hate the system, not the teacher!), assures me that this type of language and much worse is simply standard education jargon. It could well be that the people who communicate through incoherent babbling really don’t mean any harm by it, but it still makes me queasy. I voted for Seawell’s opponent. Seawell won in a landslide.