Charter schools are a form of publicly-funded education that carry some private education twists to it. The goal is to create smaller classroom sizes with more subject-specific learning so that students have a better chance to succeed. The idea of competition within education helps to inspire better learning, but does a charter option actually provide a community with benefits? Here are the pros and cons of charter schools to consider.
The Pros of Charter Schools
1. It creates innovation within the education system.
Some charter programs have created an intuitive curriculum that have inspired students to want to learn. This has helped many students achieve more academic success compared to their public school peers.
2. There is more parental involvement.
The charter school system is an opt-in system, which means parents are more likely to be involved with their child’s education.
3. Funding is based on enrollment and specialty.
Charter schools must keep enrolling students if they are going to survive. This means they must continue evolving in order to survive, but it also means they are held more accountable for their actions as well.
4. Charter schools tend to be more independent.
The school board for a charter school is typically elected by member families. This also increases the levels of accountability contained within the school district.
The Cons of Charter Schools
1. Untried educational systems provide unpredictable results.
There are many ways to educate children. Unfortunately not every idea that is tried winds up being a good one. Knowing what risks a charter school faces, especially in the beginning, can be quite unpredictable.
2. They can be financially unsustainable.
Student funding is generally not at 100% for a charter school. This makes it difficult for some schools to continue their operations.
3. There is no set of standards in place for charter schools.
Every state in the US has different rules and regulations which govern charter schools. Some states don’t even allow them at all. The rules can always be changed, even in the middle of the school year, and this can leave some families in a difficult situation.
4. It is difficult to measure their success.
Many charter schools help to educate students who excel in non-traditional environments. This means there is reduced standardized testing to determine how well this type of school is actually performing.
The pros and cons of charter schools show that there can be some educational benefits as long as the negative components are properly managed. Are charter schools right for your community? That is a decision that can only be made at the local level.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.