PCPCS Response to “New Math” Article.
August 01, 2016
The July 22 “New Math for Public Schools” article is interesting as much in what it leaves out of the discussion about public school funding as it includes. The article is actually a very good summary of school district perceptions of charter schools, but the quoted district leaders failed to mention two very important points.
First, with the money that goes to charter schools also goes the responsibility to educate the child who moves from the district school to the charter. We would think that most taxpayers would want their tax dollars going to the people who are actually doing the teaching – whether that be a district or charter school.
Second, and more importantly, the school districts choose to blame charter schools for a situation over which the districts have absolute control. The decision to leave a district school for a charter is made by PARENTS who see good charters as the best option for their children. Parents don’t leave because they want to; they leave because they sincerely believe they must for the sake of their children. Those districts doing the worst job of educating the children in the minds of the parents are the ones losing the most children to charter schools.
This exodus is a symptom of problems in the districts that parents see clearly, but some districts continue to ignore. Districts could close every charter school in the state by doing just two things – listen to the concerns of the parents who are leaving and change to address those concerns. Some districts are doing this, but so long as other districts are unwilling, or unable, to address the needs of all the children they were created to serve, then they should not stand in the way of their parents seeking a better learning experience and future for their children. To do so is a clear statement that preservation of a system that is not responsive to the needs of its children is more important than the children.