A Contrasting View on Educational Reform

Education is a vast topic with many voices trying to put their opinion in on what needs to occur in order for reform to be possible. The educational system is an ever-changing system, constantly seeking to improve both for the good of the students and for the well-being of teachers. There is no one right answer to how the educational system should be reformed, as there will never be one solution that will make everyone present happy, but there are several organizations that offer valid options.

The first organization I looked at was the National Alliance for Public Charter School’s website. This organization “is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement.” Who’s mission “is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter movement. This organization is attempting to show charter schools as a positive option for parents seeking a better schooling system for their children. More importantly, they are pushing for public funding to these charter schools, which is different from the current system that charter schools are funded. Instead of having charter schools stand entirely on their own, they argue for a system in which public charter schools are rewarded when working with traditional public schools; this would create unity between the two different options of education. I greatly appreciated this piece, as public and charter schools are often represented and understood as two conflicting opinions for education. I value unity and excellence above all else, and this organization seems to promote these. Much of their advice to help this reform/movement to continue is to become, unsurprisingly, an advocate for charter schools. By making your voice and opinion heard, the charter school movement would be able to progress quicker. Partaking in conferences and the National Charter School Week are some of the ways it is suggested you are can become an advocate for this movement.

Personally, I am against charter schools, be them privatized or public. For this organization to want government funding, I question what would make them different from the traditional public school. In my opinion, if you are receiving government funding, no matter how little that is, you become a public school and should teach to the same common core standards as all other public schools. I am not persuaded by this websites argument, as I see no difference between a public school and a public charter school, other than a label that insists upon freedom a teaching while receiving the same funding as school that are required to teach to specific standards.

The second organization I looked at was  Rethinking Schools’ Website, which promoted against the privatization of schools in order to promote “the common school”, one that allows students of diverse backgrounds to come together to “learn to talk, play, and work together.” This is a grassroots organization, whose methods of advocacy involve promotion, recommendation, and donation. They suggest spreading the word and message of the organization as its form of advocacy. I find this to be successful, if presenting the information to the right kind of audience. The spoken word can only do so much; those who are receiving my information/advocacy decide on whether or not they will accept my cause as their own. I appreciate the purpose of this organization: “Most importantly, it remains firmly committed to equity and to the vision that public education is central to the creation of a humane, caring, multiracial democracy. While writing for a broad audience, Rethinking Schools emphasizes problems facing urban schools, particularly issues of race.” Now, more than ever, inequality and inequity limit the educational system. By working against this, reform in schools can be made possible that will not only benefit the students, but also the faculty and the communities individual schools are located in.

I agreed far more with the purpose of this education. Instead of focusing on funding and the push of charter schools, they remind us of the “common school”. Diversity is so important and by placing the attention needed toward public schools, reform can be possible. These issues seem more pressing that those presented by the opposing organization. Most of the students in this country attend public schools. To me, this makes the problems surrounding the public school system are the most important ones to reform.

 Both organizations offer different issues with different solutions, but I lean toward the one that focuses upon public school reform.

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