Charter schools are proven to benefit the students and families in attendance with higher satisfaction, higher rates of graduation and 4-year college attendance, and even higher rates of voter registration. But, like Brett Peiser, Dacia Toll, and Richard Barth state in the NY Daily News, people – and more specifically, many of the presidential candidates – “talk about charters as if they are the enemy of public education.”
Charter Schools vs. Public Schools
The question we are left with, then, is why? Why are these figureheads pitting charter schools against public schools? Are charters the cause or even a catalyst behind traditional public school issues? Does removing charter schools from the public school system solve those problems?
But the only question we should be asking is, “How can all children receive the best education for them?” In these debates, we see that the arguments often leave children out of the equation entirely. It isn’t about the wellbeing of the child that transfers to a charter school, it’s about the budget cuts to the public school. The child leaves, and so does the allocated money for that child.
Public schools are underfunded. No teacher should pay out of pocket for school supplies or items needed to properly teach their curriculum. But funding is a totally separate issue, and leveraging it against charter schools only distracts from the real problem.
Charter Schools are Public Schools
One thing these candidates leave out: charter schools are public schools. Just like traditional public schools, charter schools do not choose their student body to inflate their success rates. They’re accountable and transparent. Many of these schools use automated and auditable lottery software like Lotterease, contributing to Fair and Transparent Enrollment Lotteries for all children applying to charter schools.
These schools are also forward-thinking. Many use the freedom to decide their own curriculum and standards (rather than conforming to the county’s structure) as an argument against charter schools, but children are not one-size-fits-all. They are not standardized. Charter schools do have more freedom, and this allows them to take each child, individually, into account, and teach them in a manner that best allows reaches them.
Charter schools are an ally of the free, high-quality education parents and children long for.