Heath Morrison free to choose the job he wants. Why aren’t parents and students free to choose the school they want?

Victor Joecks

 Free to choose the job he wants. Students still trapped.

Earlier this week, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School board in North Carolina announced that Washoe County School District Superintendent Heath Morrison is one of three finalists to become its new superintendent. Morrison was recently named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and is credited with helping raise WCSD’s graduation rate.

In an open letter to the community, Morrison explained what attracts him to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg job.

The reasons that I have said “yes” to being considered in Charlotte when I have told other school districts “no” are both professional and personal. In my professional career in Montgomery County, Maryland, and Washoe County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg has always been a district with which we have compared ourselves in performance. I have high regard for their education system and the work they are doing to educate all of their children. Also, there are personal reasons for my consideration. As I’ve said, my family and I love Northern Nevada and would be very happy to be here the rest of my career, however we continue to have strong personal and family ties just a short distance from Charlotte.

I believe this public process in Charlotte will be a relatively short one. In the end, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community will make a decision that is best for their school district, and I will make a decision based on what I think is best for my family and my responsibilities in Washoe County School District. (Emphasis added)

Now, I don’t begrudge the professional success Morrison has had, which has led to this opportunity. Indeed, I applaud it.

It’s a great thing to be able to have the option to apply for and pursue the best job for you. It’s great that Morrison will be able to “make a decision based on what I think is best for my family.”

My only question is, “Why isn’t this option available to every child in Washoe County and every child in the state of Nevada?”

Only Morrison and his family know what is best for their family. The same is true for almost every parent in Nevada when it comes to selecting a school for their child. Instead of the options available to Morrison however, parents in Nevada, unless they have the means to pay for private school, home school or get into a charter school, are forced into the government-school monopoly.

It is a good thing that Morrison will be able to make a decision based on what is best for himself and his family. It would be better if that option was available to every parent and student in Nevada.