Wednesday, September 14, 2011

House Gives Bipartisan Stamp of Approval to Charter Bill

House Gives Bipartisan Stamp of Approval to Charter Bill

I work at a charter school and, overall, I think that charter schools do and should have a permanent place in public education. Like my school, many charter schools provide a more close-knit atmosphere for students who need it. Charter schools also have the ability to provide a less traditional education than most public schools (although my charter school still has lots of state mandates to meet that keep our curriculum fairly similar to the public schools around us). Sometimes, charter schools even provide a more likely path to a college education than nearby public schools. What I'm wondering today, though, is whether the "innovations" that occur in charter schools have ever been adopted back into any public school systems. Charter schools are often touted as places where school leaders and educators are free to try cutting edge new education techniques, with the intention that , once proven to work in charter schools, these new, successful, techniques will then be implemented back into public schools.

Am I behind the times? Is this no longer how we even think of charter schools? Should they be thought of as places to innovate in ways that may eventually help our public school system? Have any charter school practices been successfully implemented in surrounding public schools? Are there charter school practices that could be deemed universally successful?

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