Looking through my years of education and growing up in the inner city I had no problem with the educational system. It was very diverse and well rounded in all aspects of math, reading and social science to drama, music, and art. I see where my education in the public school system was driven by teachers and the learning experience was rigorous. I still know the basic of math and reading from my middle school teachers who taught me. The question is why in the last twenty years students in those same public schools are are dropping out in drastic number and charter schools are being formed in the inner city to save them.
"They are granted a specific amount of autonomy, which is determined by state law or the specific charter, to make decisions concerning the organizational structure, curriculum, and educational emphasis of their school. Charter schools are granted waivers from certain regulations that bind public schools. In return for this additional autonomy, charter schools are held accountable for the academic achievement of the students in the charter school, and the school faces suspension or closure within a determined period of time if accepted performance standards are not met." So it is not illegal for a public to do what the charter schools are doing? The only thing they do is serve all urban inner city population. Here are several points that are made with the same schools but different legalities:
Charter schools have 190-220 school days compared to public school which has 180 day school year. The long school year are very popular with parents of charter school students because they are single moms, people who do not have necessary child care in the afternoon for their kids and these school are keeping their children off the street most of the year.
They also have a long school hours, public school have about five and half hours of school a day where charter schools have the minimum of 6-8 hours a days and sometime Saturday classes. The child in the public school shows up at 8:30am and leave at 2:30pm.
In charter school the day start from 7am and they are often leaving at 5pm. For this type of child and the environment of the neighborhood, you are keeping the kids off the street and devoting time to spend with student achievement making sure they catch up with there peers in the suburbs.
Stable facility advisor who stay with the student in the charter schools with the child through their duration of middle through high school career and make sure they do not fall through the cracks. And within the public school system the advisors change or if any advisor sees them while they are in school.
Charter schools use regular diagnostic testing. Charter schools have recognized that testing does not have to be scary. Testing is there to help us know about ourselves what they know and what they don't know. With public school testing children are scared if they will stay back and have to study for certain about of days/weeks to prepare for the test.
School uniforms are universal in the public and charter schools.
Performance paid teacher for charter schools rather than public school teacher's salary based on seniority and credentials. This gives the charter school more to attract more energetic teacher.
Charter schools does not have unions compared to public school have unions. This leads to negotiations and politics in the public schools.
Also charter schools have smaller class sizes compared to public school that have bigger class rooms. Charter schools do not have to take ever student but public schools have to take those students in there districts which may lead to over population.
Lottery driven system, only those who are pick systematically in the charter school.
So most of the things that charter schools do are not silver spoons but sensible things that you might do if you were dealing with inner city population of kids which whom are 93% are poor. But they are not regular things that the public schools are doing. What is it that is getting between our children in the United States and a superior education? A lot of is that the institutions have made it very difficult for the regular public schools in the united states to function efficiently, to be well managed, to use there resources well and to make good decisions.
Most of it have to do with politic and the court but it also have to do with there are not many strong incentive so if you have a failing public school, parents can not just walk away. They can not make the decision on their own to where their child will get an education.
The history about New Jersey charter schools; there are 62 charter schools in NJ in the 2008-2009 school years. Charters schools educate more than 20,000 students in New Jersey which counts for 1.5 percent of New Jersey's 1.3 million public school students.
In the big picture charter school differ a lot. Charter schools don't use the same policies, the same curriculum and they don't agree with what the best curriculum looks like. But most of charter schools for the most part have positive effects. In regular public schools there are major negative affects. All charter schools are under competitive pressure, superior governesses, and superior antimony that charter school have which is why they are an important part of American education reform. Is it possible the public school will transform to charter school semantics.
For example with a charter school has a ninety five percent graduation rate and eighty five percentages of the charter school graduates going to college. On the other hand you have two public high schools in the same area with a graduation rate of sixty seven and fifty one percentages and fewer than twelve percentages meet basic academic standard testing. Is the solution to have all have all charter schools or have the public school use
the charter school model?
The government runs the educational public school system while the charter schools have the flexibility as a whole to hire non union teachers and uncertified principle and help prepare student s for college without the red tape of bureaucracy. Some people say that high graduation rate and less red tape do not tell the whole story of charter schools. Even though some people are against the charter school and think as a whole they are still behind in the overall testing. Charter schools can weed out those who are falling behind due to small class sizes.
In the city of Newark, Sacred Heart a private catholic school had to close its door in 2008 due to student achievement and low enrollment was so low that under federal regulation the school had to change. The very same year a charter school was establish for the fall 2008 named North Star Academy which only housed kindergarten students and will add class grades as they student graduate. Within this urban community there are three public schools, Alexander Street School, Mt Vernon Street School and Lincoln Street School. All of these schools are in the Newark west district. Once a charter school was in place and a call for open house, the number of parents ranged in the hundreds to get there children into this school.
As I spoke with the librarian, Paula Harris of the charter school she explained "Everybody has misconception about our children, they are ghetto children, they can't learn, and do they really know them, we want so more for our children" So many people want to see change in the public school system but without a voice from parent and corporation from staff an administration little can be done to help our drowning urban school system.
In current news we see the role of government hacking away at the educational budget that has already been put in place from the previous year and now school administration and staff are fighting for there pay and pension. Through all of this are they fighting for the children. On the news you see suburban communities parents coming out to support there educational school system. They are not focused on the after care program but the core curriculum of education. In the urban community you see the other side where parents are concerned with extra curriculum activities for their children. This is because on average there is a one parent household family in the urban community. For those parents that care they do not want their child or children on the streets and it is better save in the schools.
These parents want more for their children; they just don't want them to work at minimum jobs, like working in factories or cleaning hotels. That is not their dream for their children, they want them to go to college, go to medical student, or go to law school.
With this being said, there is a lot of go things about charter, you can select the teacher that you want. Teacher that want to be there versus teachers that are placed in the schools. For the parents who come out to these charter schools, it about local control. The parents can hold the teachers accountable the teachers hold the parents accountable.
So is charter school popular for the teachers as well as the parents and the student who want to attend these schools. These jobs are not unionized but the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Albert Shankar describe the idea at the National Press Club speech in 1988 "The AFT saw charters as a tool to create a more professional workforce of teachers, by empowering teachers at the school site."
As I survey twenty families in Newark west ward district with children under the age of twelve. I ask them one question would they put in the effort to help change a public school to a charter school for the good your child and the community? Unfortunately, these parents wanted change but not willing to put in effort for change. To have this type of change a traditional public school can not go charter unless parents and teachers support the change. If these public schools don't come up to standard they are part of the "No Child Left Behind (2001)", those that have failed to meet the mark for test scores will face the possibility of conversion or to be closed.
To build a majority does take work and effort on the community part. You must go door to door to get the support of the community and with the support of teachers walking and meeting with parents in the community change can occur. With this support, as a charter school they can get certified teachers who are aid for those teachers in the class. Have tutors helping the students with two to three subject areas and they also provide in house training for teachers.
In the public school currently, they do have certified teacher who are union and if any they may have an aide for the class who is not a certified teacher. These teachers are not obligated to teach a disruptive class nor does the aide have to stay in the class because of uncontrollable children.
Charter school brings discipline and order they do not have to have police on duty at the school if children are not behaving or disrupting the class which in turn disturbs the other children from learning.
Parents, teachers, administration must find areas of agreement not only in the charter schools but in the public school system as well. A team must be build in order to make the educational system work.
After a team is put together the movement of change start from public to charter. Some charter school may have the academic modular for student but funding schools also has a big role in continuing the educational process. Both for-profit and nonprofit education management companies' management of charter schools is increasing due to economies; start up funds, and a rigorous application process. Lack of funding means that private business and foundation have to support the charter schools.
For example, Uncommon Schools a nonprofit management company base out of New York City, NY handles New York and New Jersey charter schools. They help with financial overview of main revenue sources. This includes management fees from its schools generated from public revenue, private philanthropy to support the home office, schools start-up, and facility projects, Uncommon schools statistics s show "public revenue pre student (including core aid and public grants) is approximately $14,000 and is expected to increase about 3% per year." Uncommon schools will bream even in the years between 2013-14 where they can sub stain based on the revenue generated by management fees. With this type of Management Company helping the charter schools, over the next five years they will raise $53 million in private philanthropy to support startup, the home office and school programs a facility expenses. This gives the staff and administration of the school to focus on what is important the students.
The chartering of the school brings and enables in community flexibility. But also flexibility in the educational plan. The school day can be modified that are consistent with the need s of the community.
Some say the empowering of one group, such as the parents may disassemble another group (teachers and/or administration). Charter laws are very specific in dealing with a diverse group