A charter schools is a new or converted public schools that are started by parents seeking another alternative to other existing schools in the area. Charter schools have been developed to serve a particular mission such as on art, or with a particular ethnic emphasis. Charter schools are still public schools. However, there is strict accountability to maintain high standards and charter schools are given freedom from many of the regulations that apply to other public schools, which allows for greater flexibility and innovation in the classroom (INCS). Charter schools are helping in closing the achievement gap that often happen in traditional public schools. They are raising the bar of what is possible and what should be expected in public education. Charter schools are effective for lower income and lower achieving students and aide in shattering low expectations and breaking through long-standing barriers that have prevented large numbers of students from underserved communities from achieving educational success. Studies have been shown some show charters outperforming traditional public schools. Compared to students in the matched public school, charter students are 5.2 percent more likely to be proficient in reading and 3.2 percent more likely to be proficient in math on their state's exams (Hoxby, p.1). One of the many benefits of transforming to a charter schools is to be provide educational alternatives to families that would otherwise have no ability to choose a school. Middle-income families in the United States typically choose a school by choosing their residence and they often enjoy substantially freedom of choice. High-income families can choose a school by choosing residence in affluent neighborhoods whose property taxes also aide in financing schools in addition to state funds or they can afford to pay private school tuition. Thus, they can often choose over a variety of public and private schools. Low income families typically have little ability to choose a school and the property taxes which are usually low fund the school. Meaning limits on choice are few (Hoxby p.18). Charter schools which are held to the same standards as public schools must take the same tests that are yielded to students in traditional public schools. However, accountability is different, tougher and parents are held accountable as well due to mandatory parental involvement. Parents that are vigorously involved in their child’s education will do better academically. Charter Schools offer parents in addition to board members and superintendent the chance to create schools that reflect their visions for their child’s education. Current Issues
Some educators feel that charter schools are not effective and have not been around long enough to prove if they are actually efficient. Cohen feels that they are performing worse than most traditional public schools even with all the funding they receive. The reasoning behind this is due to inconsistency in staff because of the high turnover which can be equivalent to some traditional schools in poverty stricken neighborhoods. As she said, “all schools have their deficiencies, additional monies that charter schools receive could go to improve traditional public school educational reform” (Cohen). There are many educators who are for charter schools as stated by Jefferson Morales who claims “charter schools have the greatest chance to thrive when working collectively with administrators, teachers, students and parents which are all stakeholders in making sure that academic success is obtained. He also expresses that charters adhere to safe and systematic environment that is conducive to learning. It also allows for individualized instruction because the class sizes are smaller than traditional public schools, charters value quality teaching from great teachers of all walks of life. The curriculum is content-rich that is proven by research based instructional practices,...
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