Several people have been asking me what the details are behind Question 2 (whether or not to lift or keep the cap on public funding for charter schools) in the 2016 MA election. Here is a comparison between charter and public schools based on my knowledge and experience in the education world.
Charter schools hand pick their students or choose students through a lottery, that's one reason why many charter school test scores are so high.
Public schools teach all students regardless of academic ability.
Most charter school teachers are not certified by the Board of Education.
ALL public school teachers are certified by the Board of Education.
Charter school teachers are not trained to teach students with special needs (ex. ADHD, social/emotional problems, learning disabilities) I hear stories of special needs students in charter schools who are just strung along until the parents finally take the child out of the school because no progress is made.
Public school teachers are trained to teach students with special needs.
Charter schools are not held accountable for their actions. City councils and school committees have no say how or what charter schools do or teach.
Public schools are held accountable. School committees and the Board of Education regularly monitor the progress of public school students.
If the cap is lifted, charter schools can take an unlimited amount of money from the public school budget to pay tuition for the students in that city. The city has no say and cannot refuse the charter schools money If the cap is lifted up to 12 charter schools could be built in each city in MA.
Charter schools are for-profit, privately run, yet publicly funded.
Public schools are non-profit, publicly run, and publicly funded.
"The out of state groups behind lifting the charter school cap are backed by Wall Street billionaires who want more charter schools that are run by for-profit companies." - Annenberg Institute for School Reform, The Boston Globe, 1/11/16
Charter schools are founded by corporate businesses or scientists. They often times hire their colleagues to teach, despite their lack of experience in educating children.
Public schools hire people who's goal is to educate children.
Many charter schools have offered great educational experiences. They are not complete educational failures. At the same time many public schools are pursuing the innovative ideas that the charter schools are offering. My big question with this whole issue is, if the people running charter schools want to improve education, why don't they just collaborate with the public schools instead of creating competition? It makes me think that they are just taking advantage of an unfortunate situation to turn a profit.