President-elect Trump is moving ahead with his cabinet selection and has chosen school choice advocate Betsy DeVos as his secretary of education. Julia Freeland Fisher, an expert on the future of education and competency-based learning, has some advice: School choice should be about instructional choices, not just school choices. She writes, “A next generation vision of choice should be about schools—of the district, charter, or private varietal—providing numerous and flexible learning pathways tailored to each of their students. In the long run, we believe that a robust supply of personalized instructional options within schools may be the most potent driver of combatting stubborn achievement gaps and graduating more students college and career ready.”
Fisher casts the modern school choice movement as a response to the historical tendency of “sameness” within traditional schools, organized like factory assembly lines. But today, technology has granted us access to new instructional models that can improve outcomes for students in any school. These disruptive innovations have a chance to bring all school systems into the 21st century.