President Obama’s recent initiative, Race to the Top, has inspired growing opposition from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the US. Maintaining that competition is detrimental to education, the organization, whose membership exceeds 45 million, wrote to the White House:
outlin[ing] its reasons for opposition, which include democratic governance of public schools over marketplace pressures, each child’s right to educational opportunity, the use of business-style jargon and evaluations in the discussion of education reform, and the disrespect shown by the reform movement toward public school teachers and principals.
Their primary concern: the injection of school choice into the equation dilutes the equal access of opportunity to students.
“We are concerned today when we hear the civil right to education being re-defined as the right to school choice, for we know that equitable access to opportunity is more difficult to ensure in a mass of privatized alternatives to traditional public schools or in school districts being carved apart into small schools of choice. Experimentation with small schools must not cause us to lose sight of society’s obligation to serve all children with appropriate services; we must continue to expect public school districts to provide a complete range of services accessible to children in every neighborhood of our cities.”
Read more on the National Council of the Churches of Christ’s protests or check out the entire list of grievances.