Steven Singer finds that there is a missing ingredient in the present discourse about School Reform. Reformers think they have made great strides if they open more opportunities for choice. What reformers have not been willing to do is to guarantee that every child has the right to an excellent education.

We know what excellent education looks like. It is the education that the 1% demand for their own children. Small classes. Experienced teachers. Beautiful grounds. Ample supplies. A well-stocked library. A curriculum that takes every child as far as they can go. No obsession with test scores.

So why do reformers want other people’s children in overcrowded classes, staffed by inexperienced teachers, focused in tests. Learning to obey and conform?

Singer writes:

“Let’s get one thing straight: there are plenty of things wrong with America’s school system. But they almost all stem from one major error.

“We don’t guarantee every child an excellent education.

“Instead, we strive to guarantee every child THE CHANCE at an excellent education. In other words, we’ll provide a bunch of different options that parents and children can choose from – public schools, charter schools, cyber schools, voucher schools, etc.

“Some of these options will be great. Some will be terrible. It’s up to the consumer (i.e. parents and children) to decide which one to bet on.

“In many places this results in children bouncing from school-to-school. One school is woefully deficient, they enroll in another one. One school closes suddenly, they start over again at another.

“It’s terribly inefficient and does very little good for most children.

“But that’s because it’s not designed with them in mind. It does not put the child first. It puts the education provider first.

“It is a distinctly privatized system. As such, the most important element in this system is the corporation, business, administrator or entrepreneurial entity that provides an education.

“We guarantee the businessperson a potential client. We guarantee the investor a market. We guarantee the hedge fund manager a path to increased equity. We guarantee the entrepreneur a chance to exploit the system for a profit.

“What we do NOT guarantee is anything for the students. Caveat emptor – “Let the buyer beware.”

“Imagine if, instead, we started from this proposition: every child in America will be provided with an excellent education.

“Sound impossible? Maybe. But it’s certainly a better goal than the one we’re using.”

There is much more. Singer doesn’t have a cookie-cutter in mind.