Dear Future President:
I would be obliged if you assisted charter schools in mending their undeserved tarnished reputation.
Charter schools are exceptional public schools that are granted individuality and freedom while still being held accountable for improving students’ academic success. Unfortunately, these schools, and the charter school movement as a whole, continually receive backlash. Why is that? Charter schools are viewed as controversial due to their autonomy when it comes to following school district policies, the difficulty of determining the true effects they have on their students, and their growing relevance being viewed as threats to traditional public schools.
School regulation is not highly enforced within charter schools. “Thirty-four out of thirty-eight charter school laws require charter schools to meet the same standards as non-charter public schools…. However, only 3 out of the 40 states which contain charter schools require independent evaluations.” In addition, education leaders were surprised by how difficult it is to assess charter school performance. One major factor that has made comparison a complicated method for measurement is testing. Test scores focus more on students’ attendance, their teacher quality, and the stability of enrollment. However, in order to better assess schools, districts need more information on students’ completion of courses, graduation status, college admission and completion, their ability to get a job/career, and how they are as U.S. citizens. Lastly, traditional public schools view the growth of charter schools as a threat to their “business.” In fact, “The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has argued that charter schools impose new costs on districts and they are not necessarily underfunded when all public revenue sources are matched to the specific kinds of students educated in charter schools.” Due to their demand of cost, non-charters believe they are losing money due to charter schools' growth.
Since I attend an exceptional charter school, I know charter schools are beneficial to students throughout the United States. If you could make regulations/legislation that will put more power over charter schools, it would shush the negative outside opinions of charter school critics.