I had to post this because it underscores the sentiment that these children are simply little reservoirs of hope and learning that can come from terribly dysfunctional households and if teachers have subject matter competence, etc. they will learn. I wish Mr. Biddle would go teach in a high poverty school for a year or two before he makes statements as ludicrous as "there are no unmotivated children." Why do you think there is such a high teacher burnout rate? It isn't because they find they don't like teaching. IT IS BECAUSE THEY DON'T GET TO TEACH ENOUGH AND INSTEAD ARE dealing with disrespectful, unmotivated students who suck their energy and time. My take is that he plays into the right wing's attempt to dismantle public education as a rep for the black community.
As for parent choice....? Why not? The dixon unified school district where I taught makes a great example of what choice would do. The community's most pressing concern after the budget shortfall of 2008 was for their sports teams- not for academics. One set of parents came to visit on a back to school night I had. Out of the approximately 120 students I taught, less than 20 cared enough to check the web site to see how their children were doing in my class. About 10 to 20 percent of the students did their homework on any given night. I was available for after school tutoring almost any day. Only one student ever came on any given year. The last thing noted is telling. In any given class I would answer 20 to 40 questions/ requests. These were usually "Do I have to sit here? Can I go to the bathroom? Why do we have to do this?...." I could count on my fingers the number of actual questions I had that truly related to academics in an entire YEAR.
So.... parental choice. It would be better if the ones that want their snowflakes to get As for showing up for the cheap babysitting service just went out and found their own school. Then they could continue to pretend that their kid actually learned something (until they attempted to get into college). Of course, college is becoming an academic joke as well, at this stage.