Charter Schools


The Charter School craze has nearly come and gone within one decade.  Why?  The idea that knowledge and future work go hand in hand is certainly a practical one.  When Charter Schools began, the idea was reasonable.  Corporations would get involved with local schools, signing a pact with parents and administrators to give guidance as to what they wanted to see from future employees: mostly more math, science, and language skills.  These corporations would also contribute funds as well as input, or guest speakers.  Some even tried teaching these advanced classes.  What followed in many cases was an old problem.  Businesses giving large amounts of money pressured the schools for classes and results they wanted, often pulling out their funds in the middle of the year when the Corporate Board saw no immediate value for their money. Much of the failure came from an old thorn: government and the NEA.  Charter Schools are still public schools receiving money from government funds and are therefore expected to meet certain curriculums and social program goals.  The NEA, in its Charter Schools Initiative Sites Descriptions Internet Site (1997), states as a goal “to integrate core subjects with life skills; provide students with social and emotional support; promote and participate in urban renewal; organize students into family units; replace traditional report cards with narrative reports and use alternative assessments such as student portfolios and peer assessments.”  Most of these ideas are mandated curriculums which leave little scheduling space for advanced studies.