Industry Trends A charter schools is a new or converted public schools that are started by parents seeking another alternative to other existing schools in the area. Charter schools have been developed to serve a particular mission such as on art, or with a particular ethnic emphasis. Charter schools are still public schools. However, there is strict accountability to maintain high standards and charter schools are given freedom from many of the regulations that apply to other public schools, which allows for greater flexibility and innovation in the classroom (INCS).
Charter schools are helping in closing the achievement gap that often happen in traditional public schools. They are raising the bar of what is possible and what should be expected in public education. Charter schools are effective for lower income and lower achieving students and aide in shattering low expectations and breaking through long-standing barriers that have prevented large numbers of students from underserved communities from achieving educational success. Studies have been shown some show charters outperforming traditional public schools.
Compared to students in the matched public school, charter students are 5. 2 percent more likely to be proficient in reading and 3. 2 percent more likely to be proficient in math on their state’s exams (Hoxby, p. 1). One of the many benefits of transforming to a charter schools is to be provide educational alternatives to families that would otherwise have no ability to choose a school. Middle-income families in the United States typically choose a school by choosing their residence and they often enjoy substantially freedom of choice.
High-income families can choose a school by choosing residence in affluent neighborhoods whose property taxes also aide in financing schools in addition to state funds or they can afford to pay private school tuition. Thus, they can often choose over a variety of public and private schools. Low income families typically have little ability to choose a school and the property taxes which are usually low fund the school. Meaning limits on choice are few (Hoxby p. 18).
Charter schools which are held to the same standards as public schools must take the same tests that are yielded to students in traditional public schools. However, accountability is different, tougher and parents are held accountable as well due to mandatory parental involvement. Parents that are vigorously involved in their child’s education will do better academically. Charter Schools offer parents in addition to board members and superintendent the chance to create schools that reflect their visions for their child’s education. Current Issues
Some educators feel that charter schools are not effective and have not been around long enough to prove if they are actually efficient. Cohen feels that they are performing worse than most traditional public schools even with all the funding they receive. The reasoning behind this is due to inconsistency in staff because of the high turnover which can be equivalent to some traditional schools in poverty stricken neighborhoods. As she said, “all schools have their deficiencies, additional monies that charter schools receive could go to improve traditional public school educational reform” (Cohen).
There are many educators who are for charter schools as stated by Jefferson Morales who claims “charter schools have the greatest chance to thrive when working collectively with administrators, teachers, students and parents which are all stakeholders in making sure that academic success is obtained. He also expresses that charters adhere to safe and systematic environment that is conducive to learning. It also allows for individualized instruction because the class sizes are smaller than traditional public schools, charters value quality teaching from great teachers of all walks of life.
The curriculum is content-rich that is proven by research based instructional practices, teachers attend effective professional development seminars and charter schools have higher parental involvement” (Morales). Competiveness Those who back charter schools believe that charters create competition in the educational market, requiring traditional public schools to improve. Critics do not believe that competition encourages positive results and are concerned that the flowing of funds to charter schools will lessen the performance of traditional public schools and in so doing hurt students in traditional school settings.
Zimmer and Gill, et al. , (2009) states studies that have examined systemic effects have used school level measures of competition, such as the distance from the charter school to nearby public schools or the proportion of the district’s students who are enrolled in charter schools. Hoxby (2002) and Bettinger (2005) used school-level outcomes to estimate competitive effects, while Holmes, DeSimone, and Rupp (2003); Bifulco and Ladd (2006); Sass (2006); and Booker, Gilpatric, et al. (2005) used student-level data for more-refined analyses of competition in, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas.
Generally, these studies found small, positive competitive effects or no effects on students in nearby traditional public schools (p. 77). Although studies have provided for understanding of the competiveness of charters and traditional schools the effects may differ across states and laws for two reasons. Zimmer (2010) First, there is considerable variation across the country in the extent to which school-district enrollments are growing or shrinking. In rapidly growing districts charter schools may act more like a release valve than a source of competitive pressure.
Second, the specific details of charter laws and policies may determine the extent to which school districts feel competitive pressure. For example, states may have laws, in which districts do not lose the money when a student transfers to a charter school, which in turn traditional schools do not have to compete for funding incentives for students (p. 79). For, instance there can only be 75 charter schools created in Chicago and 45 outside of Chicago. Laws governing charter schools in a state may require only so many schools which can restrict the competiveness between traditional and charter schools.
Budgeting/Financing According to Illinois Network of Charter Schools, charters can seek and receive funding from several sources including individuals, businesses, fundraising and foundations. In addition, the U. S. Department of Education and the Walton Family Foundation each offers grants for starting charters. The Walton Family Foundation funding helps with the startup and planning of charter school. WFF currently offers three types of Startup Grants (INCS). •Pre-Authorization:$30,000 Maximum •Post-Authorization:$220,000 Maximum •Combination Startup: $250,000 Maximum
The Charter School Program which is a federal program provides up to 36 months of funding to charter schools from the time they submit a complete charter application through their second year of operations. CSP offers two ways that a charter can receive funds (INCS). •Through State Education Agencies •Directly to Charter Schools These funds will serve to assist new charter schools during the critical detailed planning stages and initial start-up of operations through pre-charter planning, program design, and initial start-up of operations through pre-charter planning, program design, and implementation grants (ISBE).
In addition to the other options mentioned in funding the converted charter the district spent 9,517 per student. Converting to a charter will allow for more funds to be spent per child as compared to other districts that spend $12,000-$15,000 per student. This will greatly influence resources and training need to assist in the school meeting AYP. Under the No Child Left Behind law, schools are measured by how well students are doing. If students continue not to meet expectations it can result in teachers being replaced or the school closes. Operating Expenses Students (Traditional)
The following charts show funding sources that District currently receives. Converting to a charter school would provide additional funding for improving districts Obtained from ISBE Recommendations Charter Schools are product of educational reform; Jordan Middle School is public school located in Chicago, IL this educational institution services African American and Hipic children in grades 6th-8th. The school has been not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in four years. Yes, scores have been increasing yearly but has not meet state requirements as of today.
If requirements are not meet in the fifth year Illinois State Board of Education will come in and take over the school. As shown in the chart below only 70. 9% of students out of 534 are meeting the Illinois Standardized Assessment Test. The ISAT score for the state is 82. 0% (ISBE). Teachers and parents are requesting that the School District convert the middle school to a charter school. Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law, all schools are encouraged to have very high participation rates on their state’s exam in order to make Adequate Yearly Progress.
Transforming the middle school from a public school to charter school will provide an opportunity to implement school-level reform and support new innovations which will improve student learning and assist in meeting AYP. The Superintendent and Board Members can work with charter school requesters to suggest mechanisms that will line up the petition and the district’s goals and vision for student learning. This chart was obtained by Illinois Interactive Report Card shows ISAT score for 2011 which indicates that the middle school did not meet AYP. References http://iirc. niu. edu/District. aspx? istrictid=07016143502011) http://incschools. org/start_a_charter/startupfunding/ Hoxby, M. Caroline. (December, 2004). Achievement in charter schools and regular public schools in the united states understanding the differences (pg. , 1 & 18). Retrieved on January 1, 2012 from http://www. vanderbilt. edu/schoolchoice/downloads/papers/hoxby2004. pdf J. Cohen (personal communication, December 16, 2011 J. Morales (personal communication, November 20, 2011) Zimmer, R. , Gill, B. , Lavertu S. , Sass, T. , & White, B. (2009) Charter schools in eight states: effects on achievement, attainment, integration and competition. RAND Corporation, 77.