12 Key Reasons Why We Need Public Charter Schools
Choice is a Fundamental Principle of Our Nation’s Constitutional Commitment to Every Individual’s Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Every individual residing in the United States of America is guaranteed by our Constitution the fundamental right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That fundamental right is founded in liberty, that is, the right and freedom to pursue one’s unique dreams and to choose one’s own greatest path in life. That fundamental right includes the right to choose one’s own unique path in education. Public charter schools provide parents, students, teachers, administrators, and communities that fundamental right to education choice. Upholding and defending our country’s fundamental, individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is why we need public charter schools!
The Absence of Choice is Oppression
Choice is a fundamental principle that should not be marginalized. Political forces attempt to coerce the public into believing that the principle of choice is selective. In other words, it applies to some things but not to others when it comes to individual rights. For example, how can one rationally justify that choice applies to one group’s fundamental rights, but not to parents and students regarding their education decisions? Does the public want a public school system that denies the individual rights and choices of parents and students and instead creates an oppressive, one-size-fits-all education model that fails to prepare up to half of our children for 21st century challenges? Fighting against oppression and oppressive systems, in any form, is why we need public charter schools!
Monopolies, Monopolistic Systems, and One-Size-Fits All Models Are Never In The Best Interests Of Individuals
Monopolies fundamentally lead to oppression of individuals. Can anyone honestly name any monopolistic product or service industry that optimally serves its customers? No? That is because it does not exist. Monopolies shall never be motivated to keep quality high, prices low, and services efficient. By nature, monopolies coerce individuals to conform to their systems. Their motivation is power and the bottom line, not quality, and definitely not what is in the best interests of individuals. Individuals must stand up and fight against monopolies to preserve their right and freedom of choice. The same is true in public education. Fighting against district-operated monopolies and monopolistic one-size-fits-all systems as the only option for students is why we need public charter schools!
Education Must Embrace Innovation and Diversity of Thought
Without competition from outside forces to drive change, district-operated schools alone lack the motivation to adapt, innovate, and improve their programs to meet the needs of their students. According to the bestselling book “Disrupting Class” by Clayton Christenson, this dilemma is actually true across all industries. What drives profound change across all industries is, according to Disrupting Class, a phenomenon known as “disruptive innovation”. Profound change comes from people outside the system who have not been “programmed” to believe that things can only be done a certain way, and who can see new and different possibilities. In the education system, the ability to envision new possibilities is coming through charter schools. The ability to create innovation, new possibilities, and new ways of delivering education to meet the needs of 21st century students is why we need public charter schools!
Education Must Be a Service-Driven Enterprise For the 21st Century
Conformity of education customers (students) to a monolithic, industrial age education system rather than the education system adapting to the needs of its customers is antithesis to quality service principles. Most district-operated public schools still predominantly mandate conformity to their system in adherence to the century old industrial age model. Public charter schools have a proven track record of adapting their education programs and services to the needs of their customers. This is especially critical for our ever-changing 21st century challenges and needs. For our education system to successfully meet the needs and demands of the rapidly changing 21st century and our students, it must move from a largely industrial system paradigm to a service-oriented vision. A public education system with a service-oriented vision is why we need public charter schools.
Public Charter Schools Provide an Essential and Alternative Choice for Parents and Students
It is estimated that up to 30-50% of all public school students are either being outright failed or significantly underprepared in the basic fundamental reading, writing, communication, and math skills required to meet the rigorous demands of the 21st century workforce and climate. Many of these students are simply allowed to fail outright with no recourse, and the blame for these students’ failures is placed on the students rather than where it rightfully belongs, that is, on the system itself. These students both need and deserve a second chance to choose a school that is a better match for their potential success. Having an alternative public school choice for the growing percentage students who are either being failed or underprepared is why we need public charter schools!
Public School Choice Helps to Raise the Bar of Public Education Quality
Choice and competition are the only true forces that drive higher quality, effectiveness, and efficiency in all product and service industries. In public education, the public charter school choice helps drive higher quality for all students in all communities. Public school choice is why we need public charter schools!
A Quality Education is a Fundamental Individual Right
Parents and students have both the fundamental right and deserve to have diverse public school choices, both within and beyond district-operated public schools, to find the best and highest quality school that matches each student’s needs and interests. A quality public education system is why we need public charter schools!
Public School Choice Supports Equal Rights, Equal Access, and Equal Opportunities
Quality education options for ALL students of ALL ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic circumstances in ALL communities are realized through choice. Many cite equal access to quality education across all communities as the civil rights issue of the 21st Agreed! However, the great equalizer for equal opportunities for ALL children to quality education across all communities is CHOICE. Equal access to quality education for ALL students is why we need public charter schools!
Parent and Student Choice Holds the Public Education System More Accountable to Provide Quality Education Options
Uphold and defend the rights of parents and students to choose the public schools that provide the best quality, the greatest satisfaction, the safest environments in which to learn, the best track record of education results, the most educational options and choices, and the programs that best meet their needs and it naturally holds the entire public education system more accountable. Job #1 of the public education system must be to put the needs of its customers, that is, parents and students FIRST. Greater accountability in public education that benefits all students is why we need public charter schools!
Public Charter Schools Are Granted Greater Flexibility to Innovate in Exchange For Greater Accountability Results
If a school’s very existence depended on its ongoing ability to uphold a high standard of both academic and fiscal accountability, it would be naturally motivated and driven to continue improving its services to ensure that its students are succeeding. This accountability contract with the state is, unlike district-operated public schools, unique to public charter schools. As a result, public charter schools help to drive new, different and more innovative ideas to meet the specific needs and interests of all students, and particularly for those students for whom district-operated public schools are not a good match for success. This innate drive towards innovation benefits the public education system as a whole and the millions of students who are seeking to benefit from it. Cultivating new and innovative education models and programs to benefit students in the 21st century is why we need public charter schools!
Public Charter School Flexibility Produces Results
The flexibility to innovate that is granted to public charter schools has helped to foster students-first, student-centered, 21st century education service models such as Personalized Learning and Blended Learning models. These new and innovative, student-centered education delivery models have proven highly responsive in meeting the needs of hundreds of thousands if not millions of students, by creating and tailoring education delivery to every students’ individual needs, interests, and aspirations. Without the public charter school option, these models would not be in place now to benefit students for whom the traditional century-old, classroom-only model is not a good match for success. The creative development of models like Personalized Learning and Blended Learning to benefit the millions of students for whom a classroom-only model is not a good match for success is why we need public charter schools!