Choice In Education

Thomas F Campenni
3 min readMay 4, 2022

I often write about the state of education and my belief that there should be parent and student choice.

The rub becomes what is meant by choice. Should it be limited to a few schools that really are all the same or should education be broader in scope? If you are going to offer choice, the more choices the better. In fact, I am not averse to every school being a charter.

Curriculum should be chosen by the parents, educators, and to some extent students in every school. The state’s role would be minimal. The state should make sure that the teachers are qualified just as they currently do with doctors and lawyers. Schools can operate without monumental regulations from Tallahassee but must be up to a set of basic standards that can easily be monitored.

Each student should have their government stipend sent directly to the student’s school. That amount would cover things everything without exception. The same would go for religious institutions operating schools. If every religion that meets the state criteria wants to operate a school based on religious principles, then why not? It is not unconstitutional. The only thing that is unconstitutional is picking one religion over all others.

There would have to be standardized tests that the students would be required to take and pass for the school to keep its accreditation. Yet it would not necessarily be as detailed as statewide tests have become. If we give individual schools and parents, the right to determine educational objectives then it also comes with responsibilities.

The schools should be accountable for the tax dollars received but not be stymied in the curriculum offered. This leads to less bureaucracy and more money flowing directly into the classroom instead of district offices.

What we have now is not so much an educational system as a political one. The state is trying to make districts cow tow to one ideology. That does not serve our society well. If a school and the parents want to use the “1619 Project” as their text, then so be it.

Should students read “Huckleberry Finn” or “Beloved?” My inclination would always be yes to both…the more points of view a student can absorb the better. Yet, some parents would say these books are not appropriate. And again, that too would be acceptable.

Currently, rather than having a parent who doesn’t want his child to read a book that I may not find offensive or try to ban the book…

Thomas F Campenni

Currently lives in Stuart Florida and former City Commissioner. His career has been as a commercial real estate owner, broker and manger in New York City.