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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

06.11.13On Housing and Public School Choice

house2Generally, I like to keep my work–and my blog–focused on great teaching- which happens everywhere in every type of school.  My goal is not to write about the political side of reform.

That said, I have a weak spot for insightful and thought-provoking arguments, especially those that underscore the persistent truth–it often gets attributed to Wittgenstein–that people are most unable to notice important facts because they are so persistent… they are invisible because they are always before our eyes.

With that introduction, I wanted to pass along this piece by the reliably provocative/insightful and sometimes bomb-throwing Alex Ooms. Alex’s argument is about school choice which, many people who say we don’t need or that they don’t believe in for equity reasons fail to recognize, already exists.  It’s not whether school choice but which version.  And the predominant and invisible one is probably the least fair because the primary way Americans exert school choice is by moving to places with good ones–an expensive luxury only some of us can afford.  Ooms puts some new data behind the argument via a recent federal reserve report.  I don’t think it’s totally straightforward as Ooms argues here… there are other things you get with your increased property values/costs… but schools are certainly the biggest single factor in determining where we can afford to move.

Anyway it’s a good and thought-provoking piece. I hope folks will read it with an open mind.


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