Charter schools can be a positive alternative to public schools but how does a parent know what is right for their child? Below are the top five reasons why parents would choose charter schools over public schools.
1. High parent involvement. It takes research and often a lot of time to apply and attend lotteries in order for a parent to put their child into a charter school. These parents are invested in their children’s education. Therefore, just about every child at a charter school has a pretty involved parent, typically speaking, and that makes a big difference in the student’s success. They have someone rooting for them and setting goals and expectations on them. According to Mr. Serkan Kilic, principal of Harmony School of Innovation in Fort Worth, Texas, “Our student and parent involvement is outstanding.” Choosing a charter school is not to prove involvement but to have their child attend a school where the other students have parents just as involved as they are.
2. Parents prescribe to the teaching methodology of the school. Charter schools tend to have particular educational beliefs that the founders believe will work. Some charter schools are project based learning schools while others have extended school days for more classroom time. The National Education Association writes, “that charter schools and other nontraditional public school options have the potential to facilitate education reforms and develop new and creative teaching methods.” An example of this in Fort Worth Texas with the Harmony School of Innovation charter school where they are a T-STEM School, which has academics as their priority. Principal Kilic states that they have 100% graduation rate and college acceptance rate due in part to their philosophy and those employed to uphold it.
3. Charter schools give parents a choice. Private school with private tuition is not an option for every parent, but the schools within district leave options very limited. Therefore parents are left with few choices when it comes to their children’s education. Charter schools give parents an option to send their child to a public school that is not the school their house is zoned for.
4. Student behavior. Students are accepted into a charter schools, often through a lotto system, therefore in many cases if a student is not working out in in the charter school environment they may be asked to leave. Removing a student that is disrupting the learning environment for the rest of the students is not an option in public schools.
5. Smaller teacher to student ratio. A charter school has the option to limit enrollment where a public school does not. Public schools can become overcrowded with a 20:1 student teacher ration, and in high school 30:1, where a charter school has the opportunity to offer smaller classrooms with fewer students in the teacher student ratio.