PostHeaderIcon Charter Schools Provide Exciting Alternatives to the Public School Environment

Charter schools create a range of emotions in those who support them, as well as in those that oppose them. There are many benefits to including charter schools in a public education setting, and the movement is becoming more refined and varied each year. There are some obvious benefits with a charter school, but there are many new benefits surfacing as creative educators begin to work with charter school students and teachers.

Parents and educators have become frustrated with traditional school structure. While some districts attempt creative solutions to dealing with large numbers of students, the reality is that it is difficult to provide much individual attention. Furthermore, it’s well-recognized that students are individuals and that a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t appropriate when there are so many differences in interests, learning styles, and access to external activities and materials. The charter school creates a smaller learning community for students and teachers, but it operates in a public school setting with regard to standards and testing. Teachers and administrators adhere to district guidelines in the material covered, but they have freedom in instructional methods and materials.

In many cases, charter schools are conducted in a distance learning setting. Students are able to receive instruction through video, computer modules, or audio communication via live chat functions. Parents monitor the participation of their children in these academic activities and take responsibility for logging time spent by each child in the pursuit of their course goals. Educators interact with both children and parents to clarify when a concept isn’t understood, and educators handle the correcting of assignments and the assigning of grades. This provides the social environment of a homeschool with the academic integrity of a public school. Parents who want to homeschool but lack confidence in their teaching abilities are able to appreciate this hybrid approach, and educators have more confidence in the outcome when a certified teacher is overseeing the process.

Charter schools are perfect for exploring technological developments in the educational setting. Touchscreen technology is ideal for teaching children because it is so intuitive. Every major learning style is engaged in the use of a tablet computer, and powerful tablet apps are being written to engage students in interactive lessons. Immediate feedback carries amazing value for a child, allowing for much faster learning of basic concepts. Individual interests allow a student to research virtually any topic of interest in science, geography, or history. Ereading allows quick, simple access to an amazing library of literary choices. The use of the charter school environment for allowing students to gain access to tech directed learning is an exciting alternative to traditional settings in which the teacher is the disseminator of information.

Charter schools will continue to evolve in concert with technology. It will take time for the full impact of the setting to be seen in the lives of students participating in charter school programs. The accountability issue is important, and the involvement of licensed professionals lends to the credibility with both parents and education professionals.

PostHeaderIcon Charter Schools: Casting Off a Cumbersome Bureaucracy

In the past few decades, a number of parents have grown frustrated with what they feel are low Federal education standards. This has given rise to the popularity of the Charter School as a competitive alternative to public schooling. However, for all intensive purposes, a Charter School is still a public school. And even though Charter Schools are free to set their own guidelines for academics, curricula and standards of excellence, they must still get their funding from the State bureaucracy.

Here is how a Charter School’s relationship to the State breaks down:

First, in order to even open its doors to students, a Charter School must apply to and be approved by the State, many of which have restrictions on the number of Charter Schools that can operate at any given time. Once a Charter School is approved, it receives public funding on a per student basis, just like any other public school. Unfortunately, some states do not offer Charter Schools the same amount of funding per student as they do regular public schools, putting them at a disadvantage. So while it is true that the education aspect of Charter Schools are autonomous, the financial and regulatory branches of the government are still heavily involved in the success of the school.

Fortunately, Charter Schools have a great defense against this cumbersome bureaucracy: a competitive market. While normal public schools get their students, and therefore their funding, from State and Local districting, Charter Schools can only attract students by creating unique and competitive educational environments. It is therefore in a Charter School’s best interest to attract as many students as possible in order to get the funding it needs to thrive. This, in turn, provides a strong incentive for administrators to make their school stand out and excel in as many ways as they can.

Because Charter Schools act independently of the local Board of Education, the entrepreneurial educators that found the schools have carte blanche to develop a curriculum and school environment that they feel will attract parents, students and charitable benefactors. And it is because Charter Schools have this freedom that many parents feel they are the best chance to re-inject notions of competitive excellence into the American Education System.

PostHeaderIcon Charter School Benefits for Middle School Students

Navigating the middle school years can be frustrating for both parents and their children. There are so many changes taking place that it seems like a roller coaster ride at times. Many children struggle with influences, while others struggle with organization and academic challenges. Getting through the stage can seem impossible, and many parents turn to alternative forms of education in order to attempt to provide a more positive experience for their child and for the family. Charter schools provide outstanding options in alternative education, meeting the needs and addressing the concerns of both students and parents.

Charter schools are often managed by public school districts, creating a structure that involves accountability for both instructor qualifications and student performance. Charter schools make use of public funds to finance their operations, and as a result, are generally required to staff their programs with licensed personnel. This is an attractive point for parents that are concerned with the quality of education provided to their children. Involvement of professionals allows for confidence in the materials and methods to be used. Charter schools also must demonstrate that student performance is positive in this alternative environment. Testing allows for success and progress to be measured, and accountability is backed through these results.

Charter schools operate in different styles. Some such schools are administrated as distance education programs. This allows students to work from the convenience of their homes. Classes may be taught by video or via computer. Students may submit their work electronically or by mail. The flexibility allows the student to participate in interesting travels or activities with his family without missing studies or falling behind. A parent can couple this distance learning with family field trips or at-home projects that may provide more interest to their middle school child than the confines of a traditional classroom. The quality of instruction is still maintained, but the student has freedom to enjoy the world around him as a living classroom.

Some charter schools operate in a traditional brick and mortar environment but emphasize various styles of instruction or learning. Incorporation of tablet technology into the traditional classroom is limited due to the costs of tablet computers. Specialized schools and instructors can provide a tablet centered approach to teaching and learning, an element that will very much engage the middle school student in the learning process. The interactive nature of the tablet allows the student to learn rather independently while using tools that are appealing and exciting.

Charter schools allow for an alternative approach to education at a time when many students lose interest and lag in their studies. A middle school student may thrive in such an environment without being hindered by the confusion of class changes and peer pressure. Charter schools meet students at their levels of need and interest in the learning process.

PostHeaderIcon Benefits to a Charter School Education

There are so many diverse advantages to charter schools. Some of these advantages are very apparent are some are not so apparent. All of them benefit the children receiving the education.

Typically, charter schools have a smaller class size than traditional schools. Children perform better when classes are smaller. A classroom with forty children may be unmanageable, but a class with twenty children can get much more accomplished. There is more opportunity for learning in a smaller class than just for keeping order.

Charter schools have more diverse educational opportunities than offered in traditional public schools. There are more programs available that let the students delve into different areas that they have an interest in. They are able to focus on the area in that topic that most interest them. This helps the student understand the topic better because they have a genuine interest in the subject matter.

Most charter schools have specialties that children at traditional schools may not be exposed to until college. These specialties allow the students to explore a topic in depth and in a detailed manner. This sets charter schools apart from traditional schools.

Most charter schools have a mission. When the children become invested in that mission, they become more willing participants in the process. They have pride in their schools that often translates into pride in themselves. They treat their school facilities better and help with their upkeep.

A less well known benefit is the more positive outlook of the students. The behavior of students is affected positively by the school mission. This translates into less conflict and less violence at the school.

Another not so well known benefit of charter schools is that students who have been traditionally economically disadvantaged are also benefitting from charter schools. These students are able to take advantage of programs and experiences typically not available at their neighborhood schools. This detailed experience often leads them to pursue higher education down the road.

In all, Charter schools have many advantages for the students who attend them. Smaller class size, more opportunities and increased self esteem are some of the many advantages provided by charter schools. The advantages are many and they typically pay off long after the student has left the school.

PostHeaderIcon Lack of Focus in Larger Schools

For children to have a bright future, it’s crucial they receive a quality education. Choosing a regular public school or sending them to a Charter school tends to spark heated debates. They both have their pros and cons, but enrolling your child in a Charter school has a benefit that will allow your child to excel in the classroom.

When parents begin the enrollment process for their children, there may be many factors to consider. If they are given the option of sending their child to a Charter school, this may benefit the child for several reasons. One of the noticeable differences in a Charter school is the enrollment size. Many Charter schools are small in number when it comes to the total number of students attending.

Having fewer students can benefit the child in several ways. A smaller total enrollment automatically equates to smaller classroom sizes. This is a major benefit for both the student and the teacher. A smaller classroom size allows the student to have a greater focus during class. It allows the student to get that much needed one on one attention that is often neglected with larger public and private schools.

Having a smaller classroom size also allows children that tend to isolate themselves feel more comfortable in their setting. Many children that attend larger schools tend to be underachievers due to the fact that they feel alienated. A smaller classroom size places the child in a friendlier environment. If the child feels safe and welcome, they will generally open up and participate during classroom discussions. This is when learning occurs.

Not only does the student benefit from the smaller classroom sizes, teachers benefit from this as well. Having smaller classrooms enables teachers to become more personal with their students. There is a unique bond that is formed between pupil and instructor. Students that need clarification on assignments can be given that extra help which is often overlooked in larger schools. Teachers that have smaller classroom sizes perform better due to the lack unnecessary stress that often comes from larger classrooms. A stress free work environment for teachers means a happy and healthier classroom setting.

If a parent has a child that needs more one on one attention and has a phobia about attending a larger school, enrolling them into a Charter school may be the answer to their child’s education needs.

PostHeaderIcon Charter Schools

The education of students and their preparation for an ever-changing, competitive world is a topic that has been at the forefront of debates and discussions for many years. With a decline in the achievement levels of public schools and an increased emphasis on testing instead of instruction parents, community members, educators and lawmakers have stepped forward to discover new and innovative ways to educate students and prepare them for the world of tomorrow. One of those new methods is through the use of a charter school.

One misconception is that a charter school is a private school. Charter schools are public schools, just handled in a slightly different manner and are free from many of the bureaucratic policies that hinder the mainstream public school. Charter schools vary from state to state as do the laws that govern them, but the premise is basically the same. The essence of the charter school is to find new and innovative instructional methods and situations to truly educate every child. It is becoming increasingly obvious that not every child can thrive and learn in a traditional public school setting. The National Education Agency, in an effort to bridge the learning and achievement gap has instituted and helped to fund these charter schools. Many of these schools focus on specific areas of education, such as mathematics, science, and even fine arts education.

There are many benefits and advantages for students attending charter schools. The non-traditional classroom setting affords students a more hands on approach to learning. With creativity and the independent growth of the student as the main focus, students have more freedom in how they learn. There is less lecture style learning as the charter school utilizes a learn by doing style of instruction that allows the student to discover the information rather than simply ingest what is given to them by a teacher.

Accountability in a charter school is similar to that of a mainstream public school in that they are held to a high standard of educating the child. If students are not showing appropriate levels of growth and learning, they are closed. However, many charter schools have instructional strategies in place that provide the student with rigorous, appropriate instruction preparing them for assessment, growth, and a bright future.

Charter schools are a wonderful alternative to the mainstream public schools. Filled with innovation, creativity, and non-traditional instruction, students attending charter schools will find a pressure free, personalized instructional environment designed to help them achieve educational and personal goals and drive toward a bright future.

PostHeaderIcon Charter Schools: The Benefit of Choice

Charter Schools are thriving more than ever all across America. As a growing number of parents seem to lose confidence in “government education,” more and more investors, entrepreneurial educators and private colleges are seizing the opportunity to found new, competitive Charter Schools.

One of the most commonly-cited reasons for the surging popularity of Charter Schools is the array of options they provide to parents, educators and students alike. By essentially functioning as its own public school district, a Charter School has the freedom to develop its own curriculum, pacing, goals and educational standards. Administrators then use their school’s unique qualities to attract like-minded parents and their children.

In effect, Charter Schools are public education as applied to free market principles: it is in the schools’ best interest to keep their customers (the parents) happy. Because of this, Charter Schools are designed with the goals of both the educators and the parents in mind. Rather than being forced to adhere to rigid federal guidelines, Charter Schools are free to discuss their curricula with parents to make sure the school is delivering a satisfactory educational experience to their children.

The most obvious example of the freedom of choice associated with the charter system is the parent’s ability to “shop” for the Charter School they find most preferable. All Charter Schools are unique, and this individuality allows them to attract different people for different reasons. Charter Schools also allow parents to choose how involved they wish to be in their child’s education. By working with administrators and teachers throughout the year, parents can have a huge influence on the school’s curriculum if they so desire.

Arguably the most important choice associated with Charter Schools is the right of the parents to withdraw their child from school at any point. Where Federal and State laws usually prohibit the removal of a student from ordinary public school, Charter Schools are held to much higher government standards. This means that unsatisfied parents can pull their child from a Charter School for any reason and re-enroll them where they see fit.

In allowing all of these opportunities for parental choice and involvement, a Charter School can ensure that it is delivering an education that is in line with their customers’ standards. This helps maintain a good, working relationship between administrators, educators and parents, which many agree creates a highly-beneficial learning environment for children.

PostHeaderIcon Charter Schools Benefit At-Risk Children

Charter schools don’t have to adhere to certain restrictive state regulations. Instead, they are graded and awarded funds based on their performance. This means that a charter school that does well keeps its funding while a charter school that does poorly eventually loses its funding. When a charter school is first listed as under-performing, it receives extra funds to provide more resources to the students. If the school continue to do poorly, it will lose its Federal funding. This allows schools that might otherwise fail have a chance to help students improve and compete with other better funded schools.

Location Choice
Students from any location can attend a charter school. This means that even if a child grew up in a poor neighborhood they have a chance to attend school in a more affluent area. This provides students with better opportunities and a chance to compete in a school that may be better equipped to teach students. Traditional public schools have zoning requirements that prevent students living outside the zone admittance to the school. Charter schools aim to break down these barriers and as a result have better diversification among students. This diversification can help schools teach tolerance and exposes students to a background other than the one they grew up in.

Academic Specialization
Charter schools can specialize in specific subjects. Art and Music, Science and Math and English are common subjects that schools choose to focus on. By choosing a focus, schools receive the benefits of vocational schools while still putting a heavy emphasis on general learning. Students often have specialized talents and by choosing a school that caters to those talents, they have a better chance for success. Children often fare better by instilling a greater sense of self-worth through attending a school with students that have similar interests.

Rules
Administrators in public schools have several state-wide regulations that must be followed that don’t always benefit students in a specific area. Charter schools provide the option for administrators to make decisions that have a greater impact on students. The charter school has frequent, required board meetings and all major decisions must come through a voting process by a group of people that are highly invested in the success of the school. Through the benefits of small groups, charter schools have the ability to quickly make changes to curriculum and provide students with the necessary support required for success.