Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What are the top 5 barriers for public schools to perform like successful charter schools?

What are the top 5 barriers for public schools to perform like successful charter schools?

Related Tags: Community Bulletin Board
More Related Discussions
36 1150 Views
I often here that charter schools have a lot of advantages over public schools and "that won't work here". What do you consider the top 5 barriers for public schools to perform like successful charter schools?

Comments (36)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

  •  
Mary Kate Land's picture
Mary Kate Land
Montessori 4-6th grade teacher
Blogger

Do most public school administrators and teachers honestly want to change to be more like charter schools? I've heard a lot of anti-charter school rhetoric in my state (CA). I don't think we can really drag people kicking and screaming.

Widely-held public opinion, emphatically expressed and (if needed) paired with non-violent demonstrations could make a difference if they really caught on. A general strike would be so awesome. I'm really surprised that more people aren't madder right now. I guess the frog is boiling too slow for most folks.

MK

Katherine Judd's picture
Katherine Judd
College writing and communications teacher

Other obvious barriers lie in the recessive economy: money, locations, materials, and technology. I number teachers as the major barrier because most of the people here say, if the teachers know their subjects, are qualified to teach, and are evaluated as to performance, charter schools would not be necessary. Personally, I believe the advent of charter schools grew out of the increasing educational cuts which took essential programs OUT of public schools. When I went to schools, specific programs with attendent tutoring and specialization occurred before and after school for those students who wanted and needed that little something extra.

Now, I must confess I paid little attention to the advent of charter schools, which I likened to private schools, as I was more involved with trying to assist the students in my classes, not to mention assisting in the education of my four children. Would someone here please provide a concise definition and purpose for charter schools? If I understood exactly what they are and what they are designed to do, I would feel freer to discuss. :)

Mary Kate Land's picture
Mary Kate Land
Montessori 4-6th grade teacher
Blogger

The law read as if the central purpose of establishing charter schools was to invite people from outside the educational establishment to try their hands at creating a school with public funding. It was supposed to open things up so that innovative ideas could be tried out, and those that worked could be incorporated into the system as a whole. It was supposed to inject greater diversity and give parents more choices and control.

CTA lobbied like crazy to defeat the bill and then pushed their own version which featured a requirement that all teachers be state certified. They lost the fight and for a year the law operated as it was supposed to operate. One year after passage, CTA won an amendment that installed the requirement they had originally lobbied for.

So now you can charter a school here in CA and you can ignore most of the Ed code. But you can't hire any qualified teacher you like, only those who are qualified in exactly the same way as the people who teach in every other public school.

I do not know of any CA charters which have been created by parents or teachers (an important part of the original bill). I only know of those that have been chartered by for-profit corporations. I worked with one group of parents to study the matter, and we decided that it was probably not a real avenue toward reform. We decided not to go ahead with our charter proposal.

mk

Katherine Judd's picture
Katherine Judd
College writing and communications teacher

Here in Tennessee, it seems charter schools are popping up all over the place....except, of course, where they are really needed!RURAL AREAS! Rural students hold a large part of my teaching heart, because they get the shaft in every way possible. The communities have no monies to spare, high school teachers are over-loaded and underpaid, and volunteers are virtually non-existent. It's a good thing I enjoy teaching remedials...almost every single student I encounter needs it. But, even here, charter schools have a tough time getting teachers due to the state certified qualification. Is it just me, or are there more schools and LESS teachers? Are charter schools really worth the time and effort to establish them? Hmmm.

Mary Kate Land's picture
Mary Kate Land
Montessori 4-6th grade teacher
Blogger

Or they ought to be, and so ought to be judged that way. Each has the potential to teach us something new and that alone (to me) makes the movement worthwhile. I had hoped, though, that it would allow for a wider expression of diversity.

Some charters are online...would that be beneficial to the students you are concerned about?

mk

dbixby001's picture
dbixby001
Citizen who understands Education is the most important piece in society.

Good point. So a barrier is that people do not easily see the connection between poor education and future effects. For example, the cost of sending someone prison or the exorbitant cost of convicting someone under the death penalty could be averted with good education. That link needs to be better made. That might help people feel the "slow boil".

[quote]Do most public school administrators and teachers honestly want to change to be more like charter schools? I've heard a lot of anti-charter school rhetoric in my state (CA). I don't think we can really drag people kicking and screaming.

Widely-held public opinion, emphatically expressed and (if needed) paired with non-violent demonstrations could make a difference if they really caught on. A general strike would be so awesome. I'm really surprised that more people aren't madder right now. I guess the frog is boiling too slow for most folks.

MK[/quote]

Discussion Teachers, How Do You Find The Best Online Resources?

Last comment 3 days 1 hour ago in Community Bulletin Board

article Weekly Update: Educational Webinars, Unconferences, and Conferences

Last comment 2 weeks 2 days ago in Community Bulletin Board

Discussion The Best Book for Teens in the Country FREE

Last comment 3 days 21 hours ago in Community Bulletin Board

Discussion New Literacy Blog Launched

Last comment 5 days 22 hours ago in Community Bulletin Board

Discussion Biology mobile apps

Last comment 6 days 9 hours ago in Community Bulletin Board

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.