Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Charter schools and school choice are not the panacea for education: Ask Educators

I have worked at charter schools, I have seen good charter schools in action, and when they work, they can work very well.  I have also seen bad charter schools in action, and when they fail, it can be an absolute disaster for students, parents, and the community.

The amount of work a charter school teacher has to do is extremely high because the funding is often less than a traditional public school (unless parents kick in significantly), so as a result, even the best charter schools that I have seen have high teacher turnover.

FYI, a majority of charter schools do fail, but that is another story.

School choice vouchers sounds good when you say it out loud, but the reality is a private school is free to decline or accept any student it wants. What happens if a Muslim student wants to accept a Christian school (or vice versa)? It does happen, because parents are looking for what is best for their child. How about if that private school hits capacity? If the student leaves the private school does the money go back to public school system (no)?

Education cannot be fixed during a political season, and it certainly cannot be fixed by non-educators (no matter how well intended they are). Having a large pocket book does not make you an educator. Have you tried putting that energy into repairing or rebuilding the existing schools? I mean really doing it!

Can educators alone fix the issues? Probably not (but then again, educators do not hold the purse strings). In reality it really does take a village, and not a dysfunctional “Hatfield and McCoy” village, but a true village working towards helping everyone.

Education is still the only profession where non-professional get to tell us what we should teach, how, and when (etc). Imagine if non-medical professional tell medical professionals how to operate or treat a disease?

Include educators in the conversation or you will fail.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Keywords: Education, Educators Educational Leadership, Political Season, Public School Education

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