A charter school for young entrepreneurs shows the diversity of charters

16 May

 

Charter schools invoke passion on both sides of the argument as to whether they constitute good public policy. A good analysis of the issues can be found at Public Policy Forum Charter  Schools: Issues and Outlooks  http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/public_policy_forums/2007-03-28-public_policy_forum_charter_schools_issues_and_outlook_presented_by_judy_doesschate_and_william_lake.pdf

 presented by Judy Doesschate and William Lake Another good summary of the arguments for and against school choice can be found at Learning Matters analysis which came from the PBS program , News Hour. In DISCUSS: Is School Choice Good Or Bad For Public Education? several educators examine school choice issues. http://learningmatters.tv/blog/web-series/discuss-is-school-choice-good-or-bad-for-public-education/8575/

Whtittney Evans of NPR reports in the story, Utah Charter School Nurtures Entrepreneurial Spirit:

A new charter school in Utah wants to equip students in kindergarten through ninth grade with a solid foundation in business.

Students’ daily lessons are peppered with concepts like sales and marketing, finance and entrepreneurship, says first-grade teacher Tammy Hill. “And that plays into leadership and improved math skills. And finance plays into every part of their lives.”

About 580 students attend Highmark Charter School in a suburb just north of Salt Lake City. They earn play money by turning in homework on time and performing chores. They’re encouraged to make items and sell them to each other.

“So they’re learning about supply and demand and how to make a budget and then those who have money left when the classroom store opens, they can come buy little erasers and stickers and lollipops and whatnot with the money they’ve saved from their budget,” Hill says.

Around lunch time, a group of rowdy fifth-graders lines up outside the school store.

Most of them say they’re looking forward to sixth grade when they’ll be old enough to apply for a job here.

Eighth-grader Kymira Jackson hastily ties her apron and races to the counter to start her shift. “I’m not good at math so it gives me a little more time to work it out, but it’s a lot of fun,” she says.

Cheryl Wright is a professor in the department of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. She specializes in kindergarten through third grade education.

“Money is an external reinforcer,” Wright says. “And when you think about what is really foundationally important to early learning in particular, it’s intrinsic motivation.”

She says financial literacy is a bold objective. But it is social networks and good relationship skills that are the key to lifelong happiness and success, not just making money.    http://www.npr.org/2013/05/15/183914596/utah-charter-school-nurtures-entrepreneurial-spirit

Moi wrote in The Center for Education Reform releases 2012 charter school law guide

Business Week has a concise debate about the pros and cons of charter schools featuring Jay P. Greene, University of Arkansas; Manhattan Institute arguing the pro position and Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University arguing against charter schools. The Education Commission of the States succinctly lists the pros and cons of charter schools 

Pros

According to proponents:

·         Charter schools present students and parents with an increasingly diverse array of education options.

·         The competition provided by charter schools forces school districts to improve the performance of their schools in order to attract and retain students and dollars.

·         If managed properly, charter schools serve as laboratories for education experimentation and innovation. The easing of certain regulations can free teachers and administrators to develop and implement new learning strategies.

·         Increased accountability for charter schools means that schools have to perform or risk closure. This extra incentive demands results.

Cons

According to opponents:

·         Because charter schools operate as a business, as well as a learning institution, they are subject to market forces that may eventually force them to close, depriving students of a continuous education.

·         Charter schools sometimes segregate students along racial and class lines and fail to adequately serve students with disabilities or limited English proficiency.

·         Accountability for student performance is difficult to measure and enforce in the burgeoning charter school movement. The usual complications of accurate student measurement are compounded by the often-conflicting demands of the state government’s need for accountability and the marketplace’s desire for opportunity.

·         The emergence of education management organizations as proprietors of charter schools creates “pseudo-school districts” in which decisions are made far removed from the school.

The Center for Education Reform (Center) has been publishing information about charter schools for the past several years.

https://drwilda.com/2012/04/04/the-center-for-education-reform-releases-2012-charter-school-law-guide/

Moi supports neighborhood schools which cater to the needs of the children and families in that neighborhood. A one-size-fits-all approach does not work in education. It is for this reason that moi supports charter schools which are regulated by strong charter school legislation with accountability. Accountability means different things to different people. In 2005 Sheila A. Arens wrote Examining the Meaning of Accountability: Reframing the Construct for Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning which emphasizes the involvement of parents and community members. One of the goals of the charter movement is to involve parents and communities. http://www.edreform.com/issues/choice-charter-schools/

http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/AssessmentAccountabilityDataUse/4002IR_Examining_Accountability.pdf

Resources:

Why Charter Schools

Related:

Brookings report: What failing public schools can learn from charters? https://drwilda.com/2012/11/10/brookings-report-what-failing-public-schools-can-learn-from-charters/

Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation https://drwilda.com/2012/02/23/good-or-bad-charter-schools-and-segregation/

Focus on charter schools: There must be accountability https://drwilda.com/2011/12/24/focus-on-charter-schools-there-must-be-accountability/

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One Response to “A charter school for young entrepreneurs shows the diversity of charters”

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  1. Fordham Foundation study: Parents favor school choice | drwilda - August 28, 2013

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