Saturday, March 9, 2013

Schools - Public, Charter, Magnet, or Private

I teach at a low socioeconomic public school. More than 80% of our students are on free and reduced lunch.  I don't have a problem with low income students at all.   I was on reduced lunch as a kid. We were a blended family with 6 kids, but my Mom and step-dad worked hard to raise us all.  know now that it wasn't easy.  My problem is parents that don't seem to care.  I don't deal with parents as closely as the "classroom" teacher, but we sure have a lot of students that just don't care.  I feel like at least some of that is from parents.  I can understand a little more if they are in High School, but Elementary and as early as Kindergarten?!  Disclaimer: We do have some awesome, outstanding parents, that are doing everything they can possibly do.

A coworker and I were discussing the change in our school due to local magnet and charter schools.  Magnet schools are public "choice" schools that students apply and have to be accepted (by lottery) to get in.  Charter schools are similar (students apply etc), but they get a lot of funding from businesses or other sponsors.  They have more freedom and have their own set if rules to abide by.  Private schools are pretty obvious. They have no ties to the public system at all.  The magnet and charter schools have the option of "kicking out" students.  If a student is a discipline problem, they send them back to their zoned school.  If they are behind academically, they can send them back.  Private schools probably don't do this as often because they need the tuition from these students. These schools are very desirable to some of our best parents.  They have the highest test scores in the County which I feel they should considering they have some of the best kids.

The problem is they take many of the greatest students from their zoned school.  What we are left with is many of the lower academic students and discipline problems (many times these go hand in hand).    Over the last 10 years I've watched 100's of our best students leave our school.  I can't blame them.  I miss them when they leave, but I am happy for them if their new school fits them better. We have some outstanding teachers with many difficult situations and they keep plugging along no matter how many times they get beat down.

We are so thankful for those good, sweet students that have stuck with us and haven't left (yet).  They are what keeps us going.  The others?? We are trying our hardest to teach them the value in education and discipline.  We truly want them to succeed in life.  We want them to care. 

I just came across this article...

This is how most of the teachers I know feel.

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