Friday, March 11, 2011

Exercising Choice in Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Exercising Choice in Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

The purpose of the above visual chart is to show that funding to make it possible to accommodate Parents’ Choices in Education for their children is possible.

Parent: I hear much about Choice in Education, but what does or should it mean to me as a Parent?
Mrs. D. Barron: Yes, more and more parents seem to be involved in exercising Choice in Education. In a nutshell, Choice in Education should enable you, the Parent to decide the Education setting and method in which your child is to be taught.
Parent: Where do I begin or how do I go about making an informed decision about Choice in Education?
Mrs. D. Barron: Let us first look at the Choices in Education- the two major categories in Education are public and private. Under the public education setting are public schools and charter schools; the private education setting consists of private schools and home school. Secondly, respond to the following questions and utilize the preliminary actions, if applicable.
1.      Why is a different education setting desired by you and/or your child?
2.      As the parent you are responsible for the final decision should you exercise choice in education; however it is best to discuss what constitutes a major change with your child. Sometimes what the parent desires for the child is not always what is best for the child. Also, be careful of too many changes, such could adversely affect the child and your child may come to believe that he/she is the problem and become discouraged, despondent and guilt ridden.
3.      What do you know about the education setting of which you and/or your child are interested? Research before you initiate contact.
4.      Are you conferring with the person(s) that can best answer your questions?
5.      If your child has special needs discuss how and if those needs can be realistically met.
6.      Keep well documented notes and records of conversations with whom you speak noting dates, times, telephone numbers and other forms of contact.
7.      Make sure you clearly understand the education process of your designated choice and what is expected of all parties involved including you, the parent and your child. Often the more selective the education setting becomes, the greater the expectations will be for both you, the parent and your child.
8.      Obtain printed materials about the school setting in which you and/or your child have an interest. Obtain history about the organization, its present state of existence, financial solvency state. Obtain information about its board members, governing body and staff.
9.      At some point visit the institution or school prior to making a final decision
10.  Locate state and national organizations for you selected choice(s) in Education; they are instrumental in providing resources, often assistance and resource information.

In summation, take time to become educated about your specific or the various choices in Education; doing so will assist you in making informed decisions. You and your child do not want to jump from the proverbial “frying pan into the fire;” likewise, should there be a need to exercise your choice in Education, you do not want to refrain from taking action because of the uncertainty as to what to do or where to start? Choices and decisions you make now will affect and impact your child now and in the future.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author
Parents Taking Charge in Education at

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