The willingness of some in New Mexico to make excuses for why they oppose change and accountability requires mental flexibility and contortions that resemble the acrobats in the upcoming Cirque du Soleil productions (soon to hit Rio Rancho). Take for instance Michael Corwin, a flack for the Democratic Party, and his recent op-ed in the Albuquerque Journal.
He claims that Gov. Martinez and her reading accountability measures “sold out parents” by taking decisions out of their hands. That’s rich coming from a supporter of politicians that have done everything in their power to halt school choice in this state. Anyway, Corwin claims that if only Gov. Martinez had been willing to give parents the final say over whether a child moves on or not, then every thing would have been great and HB 69 would have passed.
Well, I’d certainly prefer to give parents more choices, but should parents be able to demand their 10 year old be put in 8th grade if that’s where they want him (Corwin and opponents of HB 69 seem to think this is fine)? If a non-reading 5th grader becomes a disruption to her classmates (in part because their parent(s) put her there, can the school do anything about it (Corwin and opponents of HB 69 seem to say no).
It would be great if our schools could offer true parental choice and be tailor made to student needs, but Mimi Stewart, Michael Corwin, et al don’t want this. They want parents to be able to micromanage their child’s education — undermining the authority of teachers and principles — without actually giving them a real choice over where they can send their kids to school.