The Tapestry of American Public Education: How Can We Create a System of Schools Worth Choosing for All?

The Tapestry of American Public Education: How Can We Create a System of Schools Worth Choosing for All?

Efforts to expand school choice have raised important questions about the social contract and the ability of current models to provide a quality education for all, a report from the Learning Policy Institute argues. Funded by the Sandler, William and Flora Hewlett, and Ford foundations, the report, The Tapestry of American Public Education: How Can We Create a System of Schools Worth Choosing for All? (34 pages, PDF), examines the various forms of school choice in the United States — intra- and inter-district open enrollment, magnet schools, charter schools, and school networks based on a distinct educational model — in terms of equitable access, student outcomes, and diversity and inclusion. Recommendations in the report for building more equitable systems include a greater focus on creating high-quality learning environments for children as opposed to catering to the preferences of adults; creating systems that ensure there are good schools in every neighborhood and providing equal access to all students, regardless of race or socioeconomic status; insisting on transparency at every stage with respect to outcomes, opportunities, and resources; and increasing investments in program resources, teachers, school and district leadership, and professional learning networks.