Public Education vs. Charter?

This is an issue I’d like to know more about. My first reaction after a little bit of research is that a charter school doesn’t sound all that great from a parent’s perspective. According to TEA, teachers do not have to be certified, principal doesn’t have to have any minimum experience, nurse not required, teachers not required to have conference/planning period. As a parent and teacher…all of this sounds horrible. I think anybody that wants to be active in education law and law reform NEEDS to go talk to teachers and get their input. There are so many issues not discussed that really affect schools and sometimes I think people trying to make and change laws have no real idea or clue about what goes on in public schools. In a very simplified way of describing the problem, I think that schools are pushing through / passing up students to try and create good data on passing rates. If there are 50% of the kids failing the STAAR, then why are so many kids passed up? Teachers are often told that they should not have lower than 10% failure….and if they do that makes the teacher look bad and you will have extra work/training. Kids with the worst attendance still get passed up. On the topic of attendance, schools are also desperate to get funded by daily attendance that they want every kid to come into their school. Even if its a violent kid that gets kicked out from one school…take them because its one more to add to attendance. Kids with bad behaviors are a problem. They get sent to “OCI” but what do you know about how effective that really is. For the most part, many kids with behavior problems don’t really get dealt with properly or effectively…they just go back into the class. You can’t suspend them because that affects your attendance $$$. You can’t send them to alternative school because that really only happens when kids are caught with marijuana or bring weapons. Teachers spend so much time dealing with behavior problems and associated paperwork…meanwhile the other kids are being left behind. You can’t kick them out…oh but a charter school can. I asked some students the other day what they know about a certain charter school….the first thing they said was that if you act up they will kick you out. I promise you they wont say that about our public schools. A lot of these students that are “not performing” have some serious issues. Parents that don’t care if they succeed, parents that never bothered to teach them to read, parents in jail, parent’s that use their child to collect a check so they try to get them into special ed, and parents that wont answer a phone or even have a phone connected. Some parents expect us to be a baby sitter. As you can see…I could go on forever as I already did. I truly want to see the education for our kids improved….so if there is anyone out there that would like to hear more; you know where to find me.

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