Rutgers Professor Compares School Choice To Child Brides. He Sent His Kids To Private School

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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A Rutgers University graduate school professor argued that it’s in the public’s interest to invest more in public schools and less in voucher programs that allow students to pick their schools, despite sending his own kids to an expensive private school.

Professor Bruce Baker tweeted that parents already have authority over their children’s education and argued that public schools protect societal interests, as schools can protect children from parental interests. Baker used the example of “child brides” as a reason to increase funding for public schools.

“Parents do have substantial authority over their children’s education and shaping values and beliefs,” Baker tweeted. “But, even then, there remains a societal interest in protecting the child that at times, intervenes in the parental interest — even if ‘religious’ (child brides, etc.)”

Baker went on to call for states to “fund systems that serve children,” while arguing that publicly “accessible” programs — not private schools — are best for children.

“And, to reiterate, the reason we fund (or should) systems that are accessible to and serve children, and are publicly governed, is to serve that public good (not private interest) of an informed citizenry preserving collective, democratic interests!”

Baker is a professor in the Department of Educational Theory, Policy, and Administration in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, according to the university’s website. His expertise and areas of interest include, “Economics of Education,” “Charter Schools” and “Funding Inequalities.”

National Director of Research for American Federation for Children Corey DeAngelis pointed out on Twitter that Baker sent his children to “private independent schools.”

Baker defended his decision to send his children to private schools in a 2011 blog post for the National Education Policy Center. The professor said he choose “private independent schools — relatively expensive ones — for my children.”

Baker noted that he did not attend private primary or secondary schools, though he attended private college. (RELATED: School District Considers Adding Math Textbook That Claims Conservatives Are More Racist Than Liberals)

The professor listed reasons for why he preferred private schools for his children in his blog post. He highlighted the “responsiveness that comes from a close-knit small community,” small class sizes and a lower “total student load for teachers.” Baker also commended the depth of curricular offerings available in private schools, including “advanced science and math courses” and a “plethora of opportunities in the arts and athletics.” He also commended private schools for not emphasizing standardized testing.

Baker went on to claim that the real hypocrisy lies not in sending his kids to private schools while advocating for programs that make it more difficult for children to attend such schools, but in sending kids to private schools and disagreeing with him on educational funding of public schools.

“In my view, the hypocrisy lies in what those who choose elite private schools for their own argue are the best solutions for public education for the children of others,” Baker wrote.

“It is hypocritical for pundits who favor for their own children, expensive schooling with diverse curriculum, small class size and little standardized testing (Freeing teachers to be professionals), to argue for less money, class size increases and increased standardized testing (and teacher evaluation based on those tests) when it comes to other peoples’ children,” he continued.

Baker did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.