Charter Schools: Controversial System To Offer Parents More Choice And To Apply A Market Economic To Education

By Robert Bacal

It's controversial. In response to criticisms about what is sometimes perceived as a failing school system, some states and provinces in several countries have opened the door for schools to run that allow far more flexibility in how they operate.

The Purpose: Choice For Parents

The main driver of charter schools comes from the desire to offer parents much more choice than exists in public, or even private school systems. At least that's the theory, but as you read the various articles below, that may be more of a theoretical choice than a practical one. Which is one of the "catches" with educational form that often sound good until you move to implementation and find out that people aren't "behaving" they way they "ought to".

Theory: Using Market Economies To Improve Education

The second driver, again in theory, is that if you give parents a choice as to where their children go to school, parents will choose what's best, and thus drive out inferior schools from the market place. That is based on the idea that parents will make INFORMED choices, and even the best intentioned parents have difficulty navigating the school choice options.

Charter School Issues Are Complex

Unfortunately, to understand the realities of charter schools, one has to take the time to look at both sides of the issue, and that, as is the case with a lot of public policy, it may be the case that they benefit some sectors of the population, but not others. There is no simple answer, so for that reason we've created this knowledge base where you can learn more, whether you are a parent, teacher, or policy maker.

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Controversial efforts to allow increased school choices to parents, charter schools are hotly debated by both teachers, and parents. In this section you'll find pro's and con's, details of different systems and more.

More On The Complexities Of Charter Schools Charter Schools

Parents: What Should Parents Know About Charter Schools? - by Paul Hill
From National Public Radio, a transcript of 2006 program for parents, to help them navigate the complexities of school choice, and charter schools. (Views So Far 282 )

Pro-Con: Charter Schools - Con: Statistics show no significant advantage over regular public education - by Wayne Au
Professor of education indicates that at least some research shows that charter schools do NOT result in better outcomes. Excerpt: Advocates assert that charter schools are a key reform for raising the achievement of African-American, Latino and low-income students in Washington state. The problem is that the research evidence does not support this assertion. (Views So Far 261 )

Teachers: Pros and Cons of Teaching at a Charter School - by Concordia University
If you are a teacher, you might be curious about whether you might want to teach in a charter school. Here's the rundown on both the pro's and con's of taking a teaching job in such a school organization. (Views So Far 286 )

The Unappreciated Success Of Charter Schools - by Adam Ozimek
The controversy wages on regarding whether charter schools are effective in their mandates. This story looks at the major findings of two well known studies, and concludes that charter schools do serve poor black students, many of whom need the most help. On the other hand there are others who use the same studies to object to charter schools. (Views So Far 288 )

Weighing the pros and cons of charter schools (Julie Mack blog) | - by Julie Mack
While debate goes on whether charter schools result in a better education for our kids, here's an interesting take. The author suggests that the model of governance has NO effect on schools outcomes, and in fact that makes a lot of sense. (Views So Far 306 )

Working paper says North Carolina charter schools are becoming more segmented - by ABBY JACKSON
Duke University study suggests that Charter schools do not meet the needs of minority students, and that, in fact, they tend to help white kids instead, at least in certain circumstances. (Views So Far 340 )

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