Ed Week ran a fascinating Commentary.about this fact: while the number of students attending private schools has been rather steady, the number of wealthy students (especially in cities) attending private schools has risen. The statistics are from the years leading up to 2013.

This trend is worrisome to me, as someone who believes passionately in the need for excellent public schools for all. If the trend continues, public schools will, more and more, be just for those students who can’t leave–and all of this is even before we consider vouchers.

What to do? See the comments I just posted at Ed Week. Your thoughts?


Here’s the comment I just posted on Ed Week‘s site…

Fascinating. People do vote with their feet. Surprise. Surprise.

Here’s my worry.

This trend–more wealthy students–especially in cities–attending private schools–is worrisome. If we want good public schools for all, as I do and as I write for and seek reforms (specifically, in special education), we need to end current flawed policies that focus on silos of children, not all children. If we don’t, those who can will just continue to vote with their feet–out of our schools, leaving them more and more just for the have nots. And this is all before vouchers.

The trend is happening…even without the vouchers, and undoubtedly will accelerate– though I suspect vouchers don’t go to the rich. Another study!
Instead of trying to close the doors out of our schools, we should make public schools work for all students and end policies that drive people away.

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line, DianeRavitch.net, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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