In Donald Trump’s most recent speech at Valley Forge last Tuesday he reinforced that “We are also going to provide the children of this state [Pennsylvania] with school choice. That means parents can send their kids to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.”
His declaration was met with cheers from the audience, and no wonder because nearby Philadelphia has spearheaded a movement in school choice that has raised the bar for the nation.
Charter Schools for instance, have been renewing the educational landscape in Philadelphia. Parents begin to have a vested interest in their children’s future when schools have more autonomy to address planning, spending and curriculum.
Charter Schools are rising to the challenge of doing more with less, something even Benjamin Franklin himself would have celebrated.
In our explorations of educational transformations, we have found that school choice is a crucial component to blossoming young minds and finding the right fit for family involvement.
The new TECH Friere Charter High School in North Philadelphia navigates fresh territory in learning methods, fostering growth and creativity, and sets an environment of constructive competition among students.
This is precisely the sort of atmosphere that a Trump Administration would encourage: rigorous, innovative learning with clear results.
Most of all, the value of a teacher focused on positive student learning must be prized and rewarded. Young students notice when people care, and that reinforces healthy learning.
Does a private-public partnership infuse greater accountability between the parent and teacher?
That positive reinforcement influences the student-teacher relationship and also impacts the student-parent relationship.
How could this plan become a reality rather than another broken promise?
A good start would be to listen to the community, the leadership, and key actors in the schools, address the major concerns and build on success.
Keep in mind that Mr. Obama did quite the opposite. He shut down charter schools in Washington, DC despite parents’ pleas to keep school choice alive. Mrs. Clinton will not drift far from Mr. Obama.
Philadelphia Charters of Excellence Chair recently highlighted that, “In Philadelphia, public charter schools are dramatically outperforming district-run schools.” Where there is choice, there is competition; where there is competition, there is excellence.
On the eve of the presidential election more than a few Philadelphians ought to be prompted to vote for a genuine change in choice.
When Donald Trump becomes the next president of the United States, Philadelphia the birthplace of our Constitutional Republic will become the birthplace for a renaissance in American Education and will deservedly become the muse for America’s cities becoming great again.
Trump’s inner city initiative has been inspired in part by the success of Charter Schools in Philadelphia.
Monica Lee Morrill is a Pennsylvanian and a relative of the author of The Morrill Act, signed by Abraham Lincoln, which assured higher education for all Americans via federal land grants. She is on the Asian Pacific American Advisory Committee for Donald J. Trump.