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Georgia Opinions

COLUMN: What School Choice Means to Me

OPINION: “Years of studies show that educational standards and test scores improve in districts that have broader school options.”

The following column is an opinion piece and reflects the views of only the author and not those of AllOnGeorgia.

Terrance Anfield is an elementary school teacher. He has held numerous elementary and pre-K positions in Atlanta region schools. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Bethune-Cookman University. He is a member and fellow of the Association of American Educators.

Everyone has preferences regarding the decisions that concern themselves and the people in their lives. And of course, most parents would sacrifice a great deal to support their children and to find the school that best suited their educational needs, especially if given the chance to choose.

Years of studies show that educational standards and test scores improve in districts that have broader school options. As with any industry, schools have shown to become more innovative and responsive when competition increases and students have a choice in where they want to go to school and what type of school best suits their learning needs. Fortunately, in more and more areas, school selection is no longer tied to a zip code. The choices are becoming broader, to include traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, career training schools, home schooling, online schools, and diverse independent, and religious schools. Choosing a school is just the beginning of parental engagement. Access to school choice has also shown to increase parent engagement throughout a child’s academic career.

Why isn’t school choice available to every student? With more choice comes the need for more information and for more understanding. I feel sometimes we may fear what we do not understand. Even though school choice is not a new idea (I attended a school through school choice) there is still much to do to understand options, to share information, and to advocate for choice for all students.

As for me, I graduated from a school I chose to attend, I now teach in a charter school, and my children are in schools we chose together that best suit their educational needs. I’m looking forward to celebrating National School Choice Week January 26 through February 1, 2020, and I hope you will join me. However, my family celebrates school choice every day of the year. Every family should too!



  1. JimBob

    February 4, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Many Georgians are more desirous of reversing Brown v. Bd. Of Educ. than of reversing Roe v. Wade. The Home School movement and School Choice are popular devices of neo-segregationists.

  2. Elementary school

    June 21, 2020 at 7:13 am

    Everyone, of course, has their own opinion about the choice of school. When choosing a school, you should not lose sight of such a factor as the abilities and inclinations of the child. After all, why send a child who is not able to learn languages to a school specializing in this area, and why not let a child who is capable of exact Sciences study in a school with an advanced course in physics and mathematics? If your child likes to dance, draw, or play a variety of sports, you should make sure that the selected school has the appropriate clubs. Also, do not lose sight of the distance of the school from home, the approach of teachers.

  3. Charly Rich

    January 15, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    I didn’t have any expectations concerning that title, but the
    more I was astonished. The author did a great job. I spent a few minutes
    reading and checking the facts. Everything is very clear and understandable.
    I like posts that fill in your knowledge gaps. This one is of the sort.

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