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School Choice

2014 in Review: Our Top Posts on Charters and School Choice

We know support for school choice and charters remains high among parents and the general public, but we also know that the headlines are often dominated by news stories about charter controversy and challenges. We believe high-quality charter schools help empower families. Across the country, there are thousands of charter schools that are changing the lives of children, particularly in communities that have for decades suffered from a lack of high-quality educational opportunities. We also believe public charter schools—like traditional public schools—need to be accountable and transparent, open to all students, support and develop excellence in teaching, and show strong results in the classroom and spend their public dollars responsibly. In that spirit, we want to highlight a few of our posts from 2014 that highlight the promise of choice—from the perspective of two parents, one teacher and a policy leader.
  1. In Schools Where Zip Codes Are Not Destiny, parent blogger Erika Sanzi explores how “intentionally diverse” regional charter schools that serve a mix of urban and suburban students can equalize the advantages afforded by living in a privileged neighborhood.
    Intentionally diverse schools level the playing field. They fulfill the promise of high expectations for all children, not just for some children. And they do whatever it takes to make it all happen.
  2. The Right School for My Child is a moving piece by Chris Stewart that explores his own journey as a parent to finding a school that will allow his children to thrive in a system where they too often fall through the cracks.
    Our raging debates about charter schools explore all the wrong questions—questions that don’t matter to a charter parent like me.
  3. In Collaborating, Not Competing, Greg Richmond, president of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, recalls the original promise of charter schools as envisioned by late teacher labor leader Albert Shanker—to serve as laboratories of invention for neighborhood schools.
    He saw charters as an opportunity for talented principals and teachers to free themselves from the rigidity of central office bureaucracy and directly run their own schools ... and all these fresh new ideas would rub off on traditionally run schools and yield results that would inspire lasting change.
  4. In this personal account by a Chicago teacher, Erin Fergus explains why she chose to work in a public charter school over a district-run school. The post also includes a link to her newspaper commentary and a video of her teaching math to her first graders.
    I wanted to teach in a school as dedicated as I am to bridging the achievement gap.
Photo of Rowe Elementary charter school students in Chicago.
Tracy Dell’Angela
Tracy Dell’Angela is a writer, education nonprofit executive director and a mom passionate about education improvements. Previously, Tracy was Director of Outreach and Communications for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. She came to IES from the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, which produces research that ...

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