I found this week very interesting, I never really considered the difference between a private/charter school over a public school, and that is mostly because I grew up in a public school system. What caught my eye with this was actually working for SUN, I have a class of 25 students to 1 teacher, this may seem average, but I look at the statistics and in a charter school or private school the class size is significantly lower allowing that extra attention to the students. This to me is a big reason to look at charter schools or to privatizing public schools. I never considered putting my children into a private or charter school until teaching these kids and realizing that they aren’t getting enough attention which is affecting their learning and ultimately affecting their test scores and education.
On the reverse side I want to piggy back a little on Elizabeth’s blog on opportunity gaps, she mentions race and how academically white children tend to do better. I bring this up because per the academic statistics children who attend charter schools or private schools tend to have higher test scores and overall have shown better academic records, but then you must look at who can afford going to a charter or private school, it’s predominately white children? Thus, there is still a opportunity gap between white students and those of other races. (http://nces.ed.gov) (pilot on charter schools and student achievement in private schools)
I also bring forth that public schools rely on the government for funding and when the government needs to make budget cuts as they have done for the past three years this affects the budgeting for schools by cutting teachers, producing little supplies, and larger class size to name a few. With Charter schools they receive there funding by parents and private organizations and tend to be able to afford more teachers to reduce class size and to provide supplies. I think this is a huge reason why there is so much success in the charter school system and why they are able to produce such high academics is because they don’t face public budget cuts as public schools do.
I want to mention the lottery system with private and charter schools. Charter schools in particular put you on the “lottery system” so that it’s as fair as can be for students to attend. There is a maximum amount of children they can take per year and the boards don’t want it to be based on money or academics, so they create the lottery system and if your child is lucky enough to be picked they will go to school there. I personally know a mom who has 5 children all of which she tries to have attend Corbett Charter school, and every year each of her children are placed in the lottery system, and there is always a possibility one doesn’t get in. Now my question who is the lottery system really punishing? I understand they can’t accept everyone, but leave it to chance? (If the number of students enrolled exceeds the maximum allowed then there must be an equitable lottery) (nwceo.org)
The last question I want to look at is who is affected by privatizing schools, and the obvious answer is the students, but also the faculty and parents. By privatizing schools students can be provided a better education, but at what expense to the parents? Teachers are impacted as well, by privatizing schools it could create more jobs for teachers since they require smaller classrooms, but I don’t see how we can privatize public schools when the majority of the students who attend a public school is below the poverty level. Unfortunately it seems to completely revolve around money. At what point will we recognize how significant an education is?
Other articles I found to be interesting were:
-The closure of Corbett Charter School (Oregonlive.com/Corbettschooldistrict)
-Oregon Senate education committee approves less controversial bill to amend charter school law (Oregonlive.com)