PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — I’ve never been a fan of lotteries. The state run lotteries seem to hold out the idea that winning is the only way that many people have of ever achieving financial success. The NBA lottery and all that goes with it are not exciting but provokes some of the things that are wrong with sports. However, lotteries for seats in public schools are the worst.
I just got done reading about a new lottery set up for seats in the kindergarten class at Meredith School in center city Philadelphia. Meredith is one of the top schools among the Philadelphia Public Schools. People pay a lot in rent or mortgages to be in the neighborhoods that feed the school. Because of demand, they have too many people for the seats available.
The people concerned are parents who truly want to support public schools. In interviews, they even joked that this lottery for them was a “first world problem” because they had the money and connections to get into private schools.
What about the parents who have not won in lotteries and don’t have the money to send their kids to a private school? What about the 40,000 people who are on a waiting list to get into charter schools in Philadelphia? They may have to send their kids to schools that are often dysfunctional and violent.
That’s where Betsy DeVos, the new Secretary of Education, comes in. We’d be better served if she were more knowledgeable on education issues and the current educational lingo. However, she is a true champion of giving all parents the ability to have more options about where to send their kids to school. She is a threat to the NEA and others who have a monopoly on the nation’s schools and school funding.
In fact, in another week of major issues involving the Trump Administration, a lingering image is DeVos being blocked and possibly assaulted when she tried to visit a public school in Washington, D. C. Of course, many of the protesters were yelling “Shame, shame” at DeVos.
We’ll see if the American people will continue to put up with the shame of many big city public schools. My guess is that substantial majorities of Americans feel we are spending enough on education and it’s time to liberate parents. Trump was elected to shake up the system and the public schools are a great place to start.