Education, politics, and anything else that catches my attention.
I like the idea of charter schools. The concept of parents and teachers being able to shape a curriculum to fit student needs, rather than social agendas, is a good one in theory. In practice, it has been less than successful. It seems like in my area there's at least one story a month about charter schools that get funds, which are grossly mismanaged. There have been stories of unqualified,non-degreed teachers, administrators who use school funds for their own personal enrichment and neglect and abuse. While I chafe at the ridiculous notions wrought by my state's education agency-such as the decision to give grades for athletics which will raise GPA's for athletes-it is better to have oversight that can demand accountability. Sadly, in the cases of many of the charter schools, by the time malfeasance is discovered, the money is long gone. And the people who lose are the parents and students. BTW, I have been at job fairs with teachers from charter programs-and in most cases these schools are run like petty fiefdoms-which in turn causes teacher turnover. That sort of defeats the purpose of having a professional staff take charge when you cut them off at the knees.
The absence of a central administration is, in itself, a significant advantage for charters both financially and operationally.
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