Issues in Education: My Take on Charter Schools

“One significantly comprehensive multi-state study found that 17 percent of charter schools outperformed traditional schools in reading and math on state achievement tests; 37 percent performed worse; and the rest, nearly half, performed about the same.” (Source Carr).

Recently, the House of Representatives has introduced a bill, known as the “Choice In Education Act” which would allow vouchers to be used in order to send a child to any school of their choice, using federal dollars to cover the expenses. Personally, I find there to be little benefit in charter schools, specifically after reading the above statistic. I find that many people seem to be roped into charter schools by the rumors and promises of a better and more specialized education, but this doesn’t seem to occur for the majority of the time.

Beyond that, the voucher system can cause more problems that many may realize. If a parent doesn’t want their child to go their general school, it may seem as though it is the proper, and better, option to send their child to the best school possible. This, however, can bring up issues of transportation, segregation, and unevenly distributed funding. Many bus routes have been canceled due to funding cuts, so just getting the child to school can be a large problem. Also, if you are able to take out these vouchers, and desire to send your child to an excellent school, they are often found outside of urban, low-income areas, and are often predominantly white. The voucher system could make this segregation even worse. And finally, the most important day for charter school is the head-count day. This is when they try to get as many children to attend as possible, as they are paid thousands of dollars per child. This is not the case for public or private schools in America.

Overall, I don’t support charter schools as they show no real improvement when compared to public schools, and it often seems to be more related to a business rather than a place focused on the students (ie: head-count day). This voucher system seems as though it will cause more issues than problems it may solve.

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