While people often blame the left for being bleeding hearts and the right for corporate ambition, the bottom line is if you believe in the American Dream, if you believe in Capitalism and the idea that if you work hard your reap the benefits... then the education for ALL students should be equal. Education however is not a capitalist's market. The economic growth model that NCLB is based on does not fit, with all the variables that exist in this realm. The irony is that if you want Capitalism to work you need a little socialism. Like a good education you can't be taught in only one way to have a comprehensive understanding with which to go out and be fully successful in the world. If you are only taught reading through phonics you miss the meaning. There's a balance. We need to find it.
Charter Schools is a hot topic in Congress today, as is the voucher system. A love/hate relationship is what I have with Charter schools. Here are some of the pros and cons about the system as it exists today:
Charter School Cons:
- On one hand they are seen as public funded private schools for the students of typically educated, and usually middle-class families and up.
- Very few charter schools cater to underpriveledged populations.
- Usually they require parents provide transportation, or students to take the city bus as opposed to the school bus (kind of an imposing idea for a kindergartner).
- Another stipulation that many charter schools have is mandatory parent involvement. This sounds great but rather difficult for parents who work 2 jobs each and may not speak English.
- Simply knowing these charter schools and choices exist is an obstacle for many parents. School districts don't tend to want to divert students away from their neighborhood schools for fear of the added costs.
- Parent Choice
- Ability to choose the right program for your child's learning style and family's belief system.
- Fostering innovative thinking in teaching staff
- Providing testing grounds for best practices