The transition from middle school to high school is a difficult situation for all students, as well as parents. How are you supposed to balance friends, family, work, drama, and extracurricular activities while trying to meet requirements and get accepted to a good college? Choosing to attend the right high school based on your needs will help you achieve these goals. According to a 2009 Great Schools and Harris Interactive Polls, nearly one in four parents are currently considering switching their child’s school.
Public schools and Charter schools are different in every way imaginable. There are many factors that determine the differences in schools, such as whether it has sports teams, a large student population, more educational opportunities, public funding, or better test scores. Each type of school has different requirements, opportunities, and reasons they exist. President Obama believes that Charter Schools are the answer for education reform. The White House states “The President supports the expansion of high-quality charter schools.
He has challenged States to lift limits that stifle growth among successful charter schools and has encouraged rigorous accountability for all charter schools. ” The Charter schools are opened and attended by choice. Charter schools are the alternative to other public schools, however; the schools may not charge tuition like private schools. Charter schools are state funded schools but with private school quality education, meaning that they have personalized individual attention and emphasis on each student reaching their full potential.
The acceptance to a charter school is based on a lottery system and often has a waiting list. In order to be accepted and continue attending the school, students must submit to random drug testing and a strict attendance and behavior policies. This allows for undeserving students who disrupt the learning environment for others to be removed from the school. Creating a smaller student populations at charter schools allow teachers to work one-on-one with students with disabilities and subject difficulties.
The Student Teacher Achievement Ratio Project conducted in Tennessee showed that reduced class sizes showed a positive increase in test scores. Over the last few years, charter students have topped the charts for test scores nationwide. Smaller populations also create a family environment between students and teachers. However, reducing class sizes requires hiring more teachers adding to the high costs for education. A survey this year by the American Association of School Administrators found that 44% of school districts expected to increase class size.
Helping students grow, not just academically, but emotionally, physically, and spiritually expresses a challenge that drives a highly rigorous academic program. Charter students are offered a wide range of Honors and Advanced Placement classes, as well as having the opportunity to participate in Dual Enrollment through local colleges. There is a widely shared concept that having a curriculum based on the performing arts will help teens excel with a better appreciation for worldwide arts.
How many schools allow you to take classical ballet, choir, Jazz and art classes all in the same semester? Most teens would not have a clue who the great composers, such as Mozart and Beethoven, even were if they had heard their music. Allowing students to explore new subject areas not only gains knowledge but interest to help them succeed in their studies. Charter schools prepare students with the responsibilities of the outside world such as: Sticking to a strict schedule, leaving school campus during the day, and taking more than the required course load.
School scheduling can be a hassle, but with charter schools the student is able to make a schedule composed of traditional fifty minute classes as well as eighty to ninety minute classes to fit their wants and needs. A developmental approach allows multi-grade classrooms and longer school days. On the other hand, it may be difficult to meet these schedules, as students do not have public transportation provided for them like other public schools. Most importantly, students are taught to grow through expression and are not required to follow the same dress code set by the state.
Students learn to ask for help and to help those in need, even if it means sharing your lunch. Indeed Charter schools do not work for all students but for most, it creates a higher and more positive high school education. Being exposed to a Public High school is quite scary. You are rejected for the way you look or talk and are constantly judged by “cliques. ” Students are often bullied for the color of their skin, clothing and sexuality. What is the punishment for these acts? Suspension for a few days or also known as a vacation will compensate for the humiliation and poor conduct.
CNN reveals that “bullies can account for nearly 15 percent of a public high school’s population. ” The impacts of these acts can be painful and emotional. Teachers are hired upon a contract, which only requires them to teach what is on standardized test. Of course, they are required to accept all students who walk through the door, but is that an excuse for lower standards? If a student falls behind in a class, it is already too late unless a responsible parent steps in and pays for extra tutoring.
Sports teams create a fun environment for the student and administrative body, however; are these teams causing other problems for the schools? That survey, led by Norm Pollard at Alfred University, indicated that “48 percent of high school students belonging to school groups were hazed. ” These activities are not only cruel, but dangerous to the students. For most of these students, drugs are a part of daily life, in and out of school. While the war on drugs continues to increase, more high school students are taking up the “new cool thing. This distraction from school is dangerous but the school system is not doing anything to help. Most public schools have career training curriculums as well as business oriented educational paths. Students are given the same opportunities to take honors, advanced placement and dual enrollment classes, but most are never pushed to take the challenge. For students and families looking for an education to propel students to college and college only, public schools could be a disadvantage. According to the Washington Times, there is a thirty-two percent dropout rate in public schools verses the eight percent in charter schools.
It seems it is harder to keep students in school than out of school. More days off and shorter school days keep students on a limited academic schedule. Less improvement is being shown on standardized test, aside from meeting teaching standards. Each type of school has different objectives and purposes; however, choosing between public and charter high schools can impact every aspect of a student’s life. The right school may not work for every child just as most things in life. The debates on education reform will continue just as they have for hundreds of years.