Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Public vs Charter Schools

Public vs Charter Schools  which is better for your child? | Yes, We Rise

Public Schools vs Charter Schools

As an educator, I got my start in the public education system. I am a true supporter of public education and its improvement, but there has been a surge of charter schools in recent years.

According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Charter schools, created more than 20 years ago to improve our nation’s public school system and close the achievement gap, are unique public schools that have the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for improving student achievement. As a result, they raise the bar for what is possible in public education. 

Charter schools foster a partnership between parents, teachers and students to create an environment in which parents can be more involved, teachers are given the freedom to be innovative in their classrooms to help improve learning, and students are provided the structure they need to learn. This holds all groups accountable for the most important goal: improving student achievement. Charter schools are also held accountable to state and federal academic standards, ensuring a high-quality education for their students. There are more than 6,000 charter schools across 42 states and the District of Columbia educating more than 2 million children.

Charter schools, while operating independent of a school district, are public schools. Just like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded by local, state and federal tax dollars based on student enrollment. They are free, do not have special entrance requirements and do not charge tuition. Charter schools are not religious and cannot discriminate against students on any basis. Charter schools choose their own management structure: 67 percent of all charter schools are independently run non-profit, single site schools; 20 percent are run by non-profit organizations that run more than one charter school; and just under 13 percent are run by for-profit companies. For-profit charter schools have to meet financial oversight regulations, just like any company the government contracts with to provide a service. Public charter schools are required to meet all state and federal education standards, just like traditional public schools. In addition, they are judged on how well they meet student achievement goals established by their charter contracts. A quality public charter school must meet rigorous academic, financial and managerial standards.

Public vs Charter Schools | Yes, We Rise
Working in regular public schools has shown me the same results as working in a charter school. One of the big differences is that charter schools are able to determine what the class size cap will be and they control that by a lottery system. They decide how many spots will be available for the next school year and open the lottery per grade based on that. Sometimes there are special privileges for sibling entry, but they still have to go through the lottery.

On the other hand, the public school system has no say over the population that enters the school. As long as the student is zoned for that area, the school is required to service them according to the law. The principal can decide if the school is overcrowded and can work with schools in same area to negotiate the movement of students.

Speaking from both perspectives, both arenas can provide quality education to students who want it. I believe that some of the resources that charter schools have available outnumbers what is available for public schools. Often, the charter schools have longer hours to give more instruction time to students and they often also have required tutoring for students. They usually have a class structured especially to provide extra help to students with struggling subjects; usually Math and/or English. Charter schools also tend to have higher percentage of proficient students on State exams because of the smaller and more hands on environment.

You can decide what is best for your particular situation and student but I have learned that both have great aspects and great rooms for improvements.

Until the Next


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