People have a love hate relationship with charter schools. While proponents view these schools as offering parents a choice, others feel that they’re destroying the public-school system. Unfortunately, both sides distrust one another.
The Truth Behind Charter Schools
These are public schools. The only real difference is that their boards aren’t elected. Instead, they’re ran by private companies and nonprofit organizations. This can be great if there’s a lot of accountability and transparency also present throughout the system.
Since these schools are here to stay, it’s important for them to find a way in which to peacefully co-exist. To help with this Florida grades these schools in the same way as they grade their traditional counterparts.
Arguments for and Against Cyber Schools
Proponents of these schools argue that:
These schools have never received any funding from their local school system.
Charters are only successful when parents make the choice to send their children to them. Otherwise there aren’t enough children enrolled so the schools are closed.
On the other hand, opponents of these schools argue that:
These schools have received special funding for their facilities while traditional schools’ have had their funding cut.
Although charters receive additional funding, they aren’t any more successful than traditional schools.
What Statistics Show
Undoubtedly these schools provide a choice. They’re thriving in areas where there are many liberals raising their families. This is something that the Miami-Dade school district recently took note of following their recent review of all the schools in this area. In this area 1 in 5 public schools are charters. They concluded that none of their schools are failing.
This isn’t limited to Florida either. New York City’s Success Academy has accepted many poor children into their enrollment. Nevertheless, they’ve managed to produce better results than many of the city’s wealthier schools. In 2014 94% of the school’s students passed the state’s math test in comparison to 35% in the city’s schools, 66% in the area’s most affluent schools, and 68% in the state’s top suburban districts. These results place four of the Success Academy schools in New York State’s top 10 list for math.
A similar thing happened with science. While each of the academy’s student’s passed the state’s science exam, 99% of the received top scores.
This wasn’t a fluke that only happened in New York though. When Florida’s charter schools were reviewed, 51% of them earned an A grade while only 32% of traditional schools earned the same grade.
There’s a case to be made for school choice. This isn’t only true in wealthy suburbs, but it may be even truer for those areas that are suffering from high poverty rates and failing schools that never seem to improve. Schools like these need to be transformed in some way but parents can’t afford to sit around and wait for these changes since their children’s education and future are at risk.
When you’re interested in learning more about school choice you should talk to the Education Resource Partners. Over the years they’ve helped educate the public about all the school options parents have today. If you have any questions, contact them today.
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