The Case for Charter Schools

by Patrick on September 7, 2010

Illustration of PatrickAbout every week a parent asks me, “What’s a charter school?”
A charter school is a public school that is autonomous from the school district. They were started in the 1991 and 1992 in order to reform public schools. The problem Ray Budde saw was that schools were becoming increasingly homogeneous. Kids all over states were learning exactly the same thing and reading out of the exact same books. Essentially local districts had a monopoly on education. So charter schools were created to give parents and children more choice education.
The charter itself is a document about the size of a dictionary. It outlines how the school intends to handle academic instruction, assessment and discipline. The schools are autonomous organizations that receive public funding. The only catch is that charter schools are responsible to meet certain levels achievement. The most important thing about charter schools is that they keep the education system fresh and innovative. Different schools all over the country are trying new things that wouldn’t be adopted by district funded schools. After they test out these new approaches and over time neighborhood schools start to adopt these new approaches.

{ 1 comment }

Melissa September 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I understand that charter schools are trying new things, that some are very effective and innovative, that teachers wouldn’t normally have the chance to try in traditional schools.

My question is, do you really think neighborhood schools will try to adopt these approaches?

It seems to me like there are a lot of things charters and traditional public schools can learn from each other. How can we successfully bring the teachers together to share and collaborate while still getting paid union wages?

That’s not a crack against unions. I just know that charter workers do a lot of things they wouldn’t be specifically contracted for, and I wonder how we can make both communities stronger through shared collaboration of best practices.

Your turn, Patrick. 🙂
Melissa´s last blog post ..The Case for Charter Schools