All Articles Tagged "alternative education"
If other inner-city school districts are anything like the one I witness several days out of the week, it’s understandable why many parents are opting out of the education system completely for an opportunity to educate their children a variety of curriculum in the safety of their own home. More students are in the hallways than in the classroom nowadays (and that’s if they even bother coming to school at all). Political power plays leave educators and supporting staff who are actually invested in students unmotivated, powerless and in the worst case, jobless. Confusion and competition at the top of the education chain leads to a chaotic learning environment where students often fall at the losing end.
In my own childhood I had the chance to be both a student of a catholic school for 10 years (grades Pre-K to eight) and a high school student at a small magnet school in Philadelphia whose curriculum focused on college preparation and world relations. I often take for granted the advantage that having a solid, well-rounded basic education gave me. As a parent, you’d like to believe that everyday you’re sending your child to a place where for seven to eight hours a day they’re gaining the skills necessary to be critical thinkers and competitive players in the real world. Unfortunately, with all of the stories of sexual assault and molestation, violence and bullying, I often wonder how much learning is actually being achieved. We all know that children thrive on routine and structure, so I’m also troubled by the idea that many children who are already coming from unstable family situations can no longer find security and safety in the “typical school day.”
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(Network Journal) — Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith did it. And now it seems more African-Americans are doing it, too…home schooling their kids, that is. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, minorities account for about 15 percent of the nearly 2 million home-schooled students in the country. And according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, home schooling increased 77 percent from 1999 to 2007. African-Americans are turning to home schooling for various reasons, say experts, including high drop out rates for blacks, the lack of black history education being taught in schools, as well as the lack of black male teachers as role models for male students.
(AJC) — A committee of state education leaders and members of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission agreed Wednesday on a proposed funding level for cyber campuses. The group recommended that virtual schools approved by the commission should receive $5,800 a student on average, about $2,400 more than they were offered previously. The figure was proposed after a study of national funding formulas for virtual schools. The commission will consider the figure at its Dec. 16 meeting in Atlanta where a formal vote is scheduled and new charter schools will be approved.
(Smart Money) — For all the hype about a few standout schools, charter schools in general aren’t producing better results than traditional public schools. A national study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford found that while 17% of charter schools produced better results than neighborhood public schools, 37% were significantly worse, and the rest were no different. (Not that public schools are perfect, as many parents know. See our earlier story, “10 Things Your School District Won’t Tell You,” for more.) A host of other studies on charter school outcomes have come up with sometimes contradictory results. As with traditional public schools, there are great charters – and some that aren’t so great. “There’s a lot of variation within charter schools,” points out Katrina Bulkley, an associate professor of education at Montclair State University who studies issues related to school governance. “In fairness to organizations that are running high-performing schools, many of them are very frustrated with the range of quality, because they feel that it taints charter schools as a whole,” Bulkley says.
(Atlanta Business Chronicle) — The Georgia Chamber of Commerce is asking the state Supreme Court to uphold a 2008 law allowing state-authorized charter schools. In a brief filed with the high court this week, the chamber argues that state-authorized schools offer a quality alternative to locally authorized charter schools and traditional public schools. “In today’s competitive environment, a well-educated, well-qualified workforce is at the top of the list for any company looking to add jobs in Georgia,” chamber President and CEO Chris Clark said in a prepared statement.