The Illusion of Choice…Is School Choice the Right Choice?

The Illusion of Choice

Is School Choice the Right Choice?

Jess Franz
February 21, 2023

Ohio parents were initially excited about the BackPack Bill as it promised to empower families and students by funding students, not bureaucracy. However, the issue of school choice has been challenged by credible sources from the education sector. Will we replace bureaucracy with a woke globalist agenda? The devil is in the details – and lacking specific details of implementation, we should reject the Ohio Backpack Bill. EdChoice, a pro-school choice organization, argues that parents are deciding what is best for their student and that school choice is a positive thing. However, the word “choice” may not mean what it seems when we delve into the details. In some states, similar bills are now being called “parent empowerment,” which may also not mean what it seems. There is a bit of smoke and mirrors at play here.

Looking at school choice from a global perspective reveals that the United Nations (UN) in tandem with the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the global elite (like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg) are deciding what to measure (setting the minimum standards for education in a state such as Ohio). What they want to use as the standard to measure against is the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Environmental Social Governance (ESG), which are the cornerstone of “woke” ideologies. The UN, in tandem with UNESCO, is also deciding what to teach as it sets guidelines for what EVERY CHILD EVERYWHERE needs to know at the global level.

Therefore, it appears that the issue of school choice is not as simple as it seems when there is not specificity given to who determines the curricula that must be taught and who measures the comprehension of a student and to what standard that comprehension is compared to. From the top down, the UN is pushing its agenda through every school opportunity, and presenting the illusion of choice – preventing parents from making truly informed decisions about their children’s education.

Ohio’s Education System is shifting its focus from traditional academics to “life skills”, such as social-emotional learning skills, through the Battelle for Kids‘ Portrait of a Graduate framework. Battelle for Kids (BFK), headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a national, non-profit organization funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. This new education model is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is being promoted by Battelle for Kids in various ways, such as “improving” the quality of education, promoting innovation, supporting sustainability initiatives, and building partnerships.


LFC Warning….Here is the Ohio Department of Education “collaborative approach to learning and wellness” showing how they are shifting away from academics. It confirms what Jess Franz is stating in her article.


If SB1 and HB12 ( a pair of 2,156-page bills that hand an unprecedented amount of power to the Ohio Governor over the Ohio education system) pass – then the Director of the Department of Education and Workforce make these decisions on student comprehension and measurement for the entire state. What guarantees do parents have on limiting the influence of “woke” lobbyists on the director?

Panorama Education is a survey data collection tool used to measure students’ progress in reaching their goals in the Portrait of a Graduate framework. This shift towards life skills as opposed to traditional academics means that students will no longer be assessed on reading, writing, math, or social studies, but on being good global citizens, collaborative, and like-minded with their peers. Furthermore, students will now earn digital credentials that reflect their ability to meet these goals, rather than traditional report cards, diplomas, and standardized testing. The shift to digitization has raised concerns about data privacy and the potential for this information to be with students in perpetuity. This could mean that non-acceptance of “Woke” ideologies that do not align with Christian values may follow a child for a lifetime. 

Protect Ohio Children is a state-wide grassroots volunteer organization dedicated to watching schools and school boards across Ohio. They help to shed daylight on the darkness of Critical Race Theory (CRT), Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE), and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Do you think it is coincidental that the Ohio schools listed as participating in Battelle’s “Portrait of a Graduate” are the same schools listed on Protect Ohio Children’s Indoctrination site map, where there is confirmed evidence of CRT, CSE, and/or SEL? These schools are actively promoting concepts which contribute to the overall goals of the UN’s SDGs.

Environmental Social Governance (ESG) is already embedded within K-12 schools, taking on the moniker of diversity, equity, and inclusion classes and social emotional learning. In July, 2021, the digital credentialing system was introduced to the Ohio School system through the creation of the Ohio ACE program (Afterschool Child Enrichment), which has been referred to as the “model” or “prototype” of the Backpack Bill. The ultimate goal is to create a digital badge and credentialing system necessary for every student to be considered employable.

The Backpack Bill has gained a lot of support for its marketing plan, which involves recouping $6,000 for education expenses to be spent at a school of the parent’s choice. The idea sounds too good to be true, and it usually is, unless your organization is among those who will benefit financially and otherwise. The original 15-line Backpack Bill that people were enthusiastic about has now become a complex 185-page bill that few have taken the time to read. People are drawn to the concept, not the details.

Without specificity being added to the BackPack Bill -and/or- killing SB1 and HB12….passage of the BackPack Bill would be a mistake.

At the very least, the language of the BackPack Bill should be amended to allow for the formation of popularly elected County Education Advisory Councils (CEAC). There should be a CEAC for Public Education, and a CEAC for Charter Schools, – these CEAC organizations would set minimum guidelines for education locally – with a State mandated imperative that such standards are free from ideology. CEAC legislation will help to decentralize power and will give parents more local control of their schools and their children’s education.

Additional Resources:

Ohio HB12 and SB1 are not helpful in Reforming Ohio Schools – and the BackPack Bill Analysis

Will School Choice Create Educational Freedom?




Categories: Contributors, Education

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