Happy Friday/Saturday Everyone!
So, I thought I’d continue on the topic I started writing on some time ago. It’s something my wife and I are dealing with now. The lottery that I was really trying to allude to was the school lottery for our son! We have entered our son into several charter school lotteries. These schools are some of the best schools that our son could attend.
It is sad to say, but the school that our son is zoned for is not one I would want him to attend. However, I have found this process to very much impacted by socio-economics! I’ll address part of this as I continue. My goal now is to discuss what we have learned in this process. I went to public school in NYC. However, I went to one of those schools that segregrated high achievers from everyone else. Looking back at this experience, I feel that while I was fortunate, this type of segregration impeeds the learning of others, as well as, my learning experiences when I was younger. I think my post is also little more relevant in light of the college admission cheating scandals that are in the news…though honestly I’m quite certain that these types of shinanigans have been going on since the beginning of the idea of college. The “founding fathers” neglected many things in their desire to create a new government. They were of course contending with slave owning states and the property rights of the wealthy landowners who in fact were the framer of the document we know as the constitution. In their massive societal experiment, the framers did not believe that education was important for masses, or that women, Native Americans or African Americans had any rights to vote – because let’s face it their underlying premise was that INFACT we are not all created equal. Complete and utter hypocritical material that got signed by whole bunch of wealthy, landowning, slave holding, white men. Oh and I’ll provide something to stoke the fire with a little evidence that our first President had issues: Ona Judge. There is “picture” evidence of this in a painting by Junius Brutus Stearns. I should write a post on this. Ok…now I’ll start.
I think I need to begin to briefly discussing what is the difference between public, private and charter schools. I won’t be going to much into private school – honestly because we’re not doing this as it is not financially feaseable for us! This whole topic may be somewhat controversial. However, I am definitely a fan of school choice!
Private school is different from both charter and public schools because of one fact: both public and charter are funded by government money whereas private is funded by other means. I don’t really want to go over the privatization of things that are in the public’s interest. However, if you are interested in this sort of thing I’ll encourage the Harvard Business Review article written on this very subject. President Obama (GOD I MISS HIM) was a fan of charter schools, but not a fan of vouchers! He was such a fan of charter schools that he signed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) into law in 2015. Charters are not much different from public schools except in the following ways:
1. While public schools are ran by the district/school board, charter schools are ran by separate groups that can be either non-profit or profit. They can also receive donations. For both public and charter schools there is no tuition.
2. Public schools have union contracts for teachers, while charter schools hire and fire teachers based on performance. (Not all charter schools are good and it’s important to research as much as possible and determine what the needs of your child are and who your child is.)
3. Finally, students can enroll via ranom lottery.
With that in mind, there are many websites that we had to research into to acquire the most comprehensive picture of the student demographics, vaccination %, teacher to student ratio, and overall rating of the school including comments from current parents. In addition to this we went in person to the open house for the charter schools. We spoke with the administration and the teachers. And this was on a Saturday! We got to meet some of the teachers, and having been in education for such a long time, We were able to glean a lot of information from our interactions with the teachers. Suffice it to say that I was super impressed with the teacher’s background and general approach to each student.
Are charter schools better than public schools? I’m not sure how to answer this question. However, there is a study from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University that indicates that students from charter schools do a little better in reading but about the same in math when compared to public schools. I think that there is still quite a bit more data out there for us to read and learn. However, this is the jackpot!
We really want our son (and eventually our daughter) to attend one of these charter schools! We’ve seen the environments and can already see the differences in the students and teachers. So, these lotteries are the ones that we are really interested in winning.
I think I have my next post set too based on the beginning of this post! On that note…that’s all folks. Take good care. Have a great weekend and week ahead! Until next time. Same bat time. Same bat channel!