Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Should All Public Schools be Charter Schools?

A column in Ed Week  here proposes that all public schools be turned into charter schools--not because charter schools seem to be doing any better, but because parents have more faith in charter schools.

An amusing suggestion. 

Essentially, I think anything that gets rid of the huge administrative overhang in large districts has the potential to be valuable.  Before teaching for 28 years in a public school, I taught for 9 years in private and parochial schools.  I always thought their main advantage was that the teachers and the building administrators could work out the problems and issues themselves. 

But the idea of all of the local schools being charters is full of problems.   Public schools are largely run by local officials, who can be voted in and out of office.  What kind of governance will these charters have?  What about special ed.  Will charters be able to refuse admittance to students they don’t have programs for?  Who decided who gets to go to which charter?

I have a simpler solution.  Make all of our charter and public schools centers of avid reading.  Fund libraries.  Add developing a love of reading to the Common Core Standards.  In fact, it’s really the only standard you need for literacy, as kids who are avid readers acquire sophisticated reading skills, and adequate, grammatical writing skills. 

I know this sounds  radical but, really, ask yourself:   How can the suggestion that children be brought to a love of reading be radical?  Is that more radical than turning all neighborhood public schools into charters, especially when the research shows charters don’t even perform any better?

1 comment:

  1. There is need to form a proper education policy about schools. This system must be centralized. There must be a single policy for all schools and all schools should follow this policy. Then should be a proper system to revisit this policy when it's needed.

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