It’s no secret that public education in the U.S. is falling behind in world rankings. A 2009 study found showed that U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science, behind nations such as China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland. Unfortunately, four years later the U.S. remains in a similar situation. There has been little done within the government to support public education whether through funding or legislation, and in combating the gap between us and the world, politicians continue to push for alternative schools such as private or charter schools.
The issue itself isn’t whether charter schools can succeed (as many schools have demonstrated progress with aggressive academic tactics), it is whether the government is willing to depend solely on these schools in effort of replacing the public school system. In theory, a change to charter schools can be positive. Most people who see these schools in a positive light often focus on the ability for school choice and greater flexibility in the classroom. It sounds great, but what about the children now, who can’t get into charter schools because of the enormous wait lists or those who don’t have these schools within their reasonable proximity?
I see the positivity in charter schools. There are many that provide children with the best education possible, however pubic education is the ONLY way to educate all of the American youth and by fixing public education you wont’ leave any child behind.
I consider the charter school the band-aid in my educational band-aid theory. Think of someone who has just gone under major surgery, the doctor doesn’t have a large enough band-aid to cover where the incision was thus exposing the majority of the incision. The educational sector is similar in that the charter school can only cover up so much of America. While some of these alternative schools are thriving they simply aren’t doing enough to ‘band-aid’ the extreme gap in education in America.
That is when politicians believe that by putting more emphasis into these thriving charter schools that the educational gap is fixed. That is also when they are incredibly wrong. Once charter schools reach their peak, there still will be waiting lists to get into the top-tier schools, which if not chosen in a lottery, that child will be subjected to a lesser charter or public school education. In this scenario, the rich won’t get richer, but the poor also don’t get richer; it is up to chance as to who gets rich (we’re talking academically rich in this case).
If the government focuses on public education where every child has an equal opportunity in schools, every child is affected, closing the gap and making our educational sector stronger. In our focuses on public education we can analyze how and why these charter schools are successful and apply them to public education.
If we stick with public education, every child has a chance to succeed.
- Con: Charter schools mean well, but good intentions haven’t worked (jacksonville.com)
- Charter Schools are Public Schools – Exposing the Truth about the Tale of Gulen Charter Schools (sonoranscienceparents.org)
- One in Five Charter Schools Should Close on Performance – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Poverty’s effect less damaging to public schools’ scores than charters, report finds (jsonline.com)