Charter Public Schools

chasm.jpg
Chasm in Little Petra, Jordan
Photo by demerzel21 on Adobe Stock

The Chasm Spanning Public and Private School COVID-19 Responses

Public schools demand campuses stay closed while the majority of private schools do whatever it takes to open. What would happen if K-12 education became a free market with competition as the driver? Would this elicit a different response from public schools? Read More ›
Diamanten im Brillantschliff vor schwarzem Hintergrund mit Reflextionen
Diamanten im Brillantschliff vor schwarzem Hintergrund mit Reflextionen
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Gem Prep Charter Schools Shine in Idaho

Amidst the educational difficulties the coronavirus has spurred, one Idaho charter network has thrived. Gem Prep, a K-12 free public charter school with four on-campus locations and an online school in Idaho, is using the opportunity to adapt and fine-tune their educational model.  Gem Prep schools have only one high school at this point—the online school. The physical schools are K–8. However, Gem is planning to add a new grade each year moving forward to make all of them K–12. With the arrival of Coronavirus, Gem was prepared to shift to full-time online.  Gem’s approach is to provide educators the specific training they need to teach effectively online. Laurie Wolfe, the network’s Chief Academic Officer, comments that “we [have] trained Read More ›

Hand holding gold medal on sky background
Hand holding gold medal on sky background, The winner and successful concept

Impact Public Schools are the Gold Standard

Thanks to Jim and Fawn Spady, the creators of the Washington Charter School Resource Center (WCSRC), for highlighting the novel concept of Washington’s Impact Public Schools (IPS). The Spadys are perhaps best known for their leadership of the Seattle area’s beloved Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants. But they are also long-time, stalwart advocates of education reform. IPS operates a charter public school in Tukwilla and will open another one this fall in South King County. The school serves 280 students in grades kindergarten through second grade, comprised of 83% students of color, 67% low income, and 32% English learners. IPS effectively pivoted to distance learning in early March and are now sharing their technology and lessons learned with everyone interested — whether Read More ›

Scissors cutting a dollar bill in half
Money being cut showing cutbacks or wasteful spending

Budget Cuts Will Lead to Educational Regression

I was not that shocked when I read the news that Washington State’s elected leaders in both the Senate and the House are attempting to cut funding to charter schools. It’s par for the course with many of our state leaders, who have an open hostility to these schools whose success is based on their ability to escape excessive state control. What is more surprising is that the Democrat-run House and Senate are willing to stir up a storm in poor communities. In most cases, charter schools are created in neighborhoods where the schools are failing or under-performing. In Washington, by 2020 we will have 14 active public charter schools that serve nearly 4,000 students. Liv Finne, Director of Center Read More ›

charter. Wooden letters on the office desk, informative and communication background
charter. Wooden letters on the office desk, informative and communication background
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Democratic Presidential Hopeful Michael Bloomberg Supports Charters

Mike Bloomberg steps away from the rest of the crowd with one simple and sound approach to educational reform: he supports charter schools. Stu Loeser, Bloomberg’s campaign spokesman, confirms that “Mike’s education plan will absolutely promote charter schools.”  Finally a candidate that does not fall into herd mentality on one issue!  Other candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in particular, have promised to eradicate all federal funding for charter schools. On at least this one issue, Bloomberg’s move can differentiate him from the rest of field. The promise to expand charter schools is positive for a several reasons. Charter schools are broadly sought out, especially by low-income families who feel left behind by their government run school. They also provide Read More ›

Jackson, Mississippi, USA downtown Cityscape
Jackson, Mississippi, USA downtown cityscape at the capitol.
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Magnolia State Has Opportunity to Soar to the Top

Empower Mississippi, a nonprofit advocacy organization with a focus on education and employability, is helping elevate the state of Mississippi’s education standards. Their emphasis is on freedom and choice, paramount to transforming the education system. Elyse Marcellino, the Vice President of Empower Mississippi writes: “All in all, Mississippians have more opportunities than ever to find the educational program, services, staff, curriculum, and environment their children need.” This is due to their concerted effort on promoting choice in both private and public education. There are more than 4,500 students enrolled in a school choice program in the state of Mississippi and the numbers are increasing due to the passage of new legislation. As Marcellino notes, “after four years of inaction by Read More ›

Over Regulation concept
3D illustration of
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Education Must Be Run Locally

The word education does not occur in the U.S. Constitution—a clear indication that the federal government has no business meddling with education policy. Furthermore, though often ignored, the Tenth Amendment clearly limits the scope of federal power: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Listening to the current crop of presidential candidates, however, one would draw the conclusion that the federal government, and not the states, bear the primary educational responsibility.  In addition, one notes that 70% of the participants attended private schools or sent their own kids to private schools even as they fight against school choice for Read More ›

Scholarship concept
Young man passes from a peak to another on a book. The concept of scholarship and
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Why Only One Type of School?

A fascinating new micro school has been making significant strides in Arizona. Prenda is like the Splenda of schooling. An alternative to the traditional government-run school. What’s different about this new method of schooling? For starters it is placed in the homes, offices, or studios of the coaches or mentors. This not only shifts the old classroom setting, desks lined up facing the front of the classroom. It also eliminates the need for specific degrees or credentials for those who are willing to connect with young people. There is a valid concern about the qualifications of those doing the teaching. Not everyone is qualified to teach. However, the elimination of certifications opens the door for very skilled workers in fields Read More ›

NO SCHOOL
Hand drawing text
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Warren’s Plan to Ban Effective Schools

Democrat presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren, seeks to ruin education if elected president. In a recent announcement she pledges to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on traditional public schools while stripping any federal funding of new charter PUBLIC schools. This is coming from someone who has previously strongly supported public charter schools. Is it possible that she’s not aware that charter schools are, in-fact, public? Like other public schools, charter schools are open to all students, tuition free, publicly funded, staffed by certified teachers, and held accountable to state and national standards. The big difference between traditional public schools and charter public schools is that charter schools are held more accountable for showing improved student achievement. This accountability is “traded” Read More ›