Increasingly over the past decade, children and their parents all across the U.S. are choosing to enroll in or are being chosen to attend charter schools that are average or failing. Since these children are our future, we must organize now and help reform the struggling charter school movement; thus, I am forming Save Unsuccessful Charter Schools (SUCS).
The facts about charter schools in the U.S. are stunning :
• Students attending charter schools sit in schools, when compared to traditional public schools, that are overwhelming average and below average in student outcomes.
• Students choosing to attend charter schools are sitting in schools populated disproportionately by students exactly like them. Charter schools are 21st century segregation.
• Faculty at charter schools are often inexperienced and uncertified; as well, charter faculty experience a great deal of teacher turn-over.
• Charter schools are founded and run by a wide range of people and organizations with experience and expertise outside of education: professional basketball and tennis athletes, celebrities, appointees, venture capitalists, technology advocates.
• Students in charter schools experience high levels of suspensions, expulsions, and "weeding out."
In a time when the U.S. seeks to be competitive internationally, this pattern of failure cannot be tolerated. SUCS seeks to save unsuccessful charter schools, now!
What to Do?
Recognizing that changing the status quo is challenging and cannot happen overnight, SUCS is committed to sustainable but aggressive reform.
First, SUCS plans to identify the exceptional "miracle" traditional public schools, launch a campaign to recognize those "miracle" public schools in the media, and then mine those schools for ways to reform the failed status quo of charter schools now plaguing those students and their families choosing charter schools.
Next, SUCS plans to campaign for allowing students choosing to be in the charter schools to enroll at their community public schools—trusting that the competition offered by those community schools will encourage charter schools to hire experienced and qualified teachers, seek educators and scholars (not professional athletes) to run their schools, and denounce their selective enrollment policies, "weeding out" strategies, and zero tolerance discipline policies.
Finally, SUCS is calling on local, state, and federal agencies to establish rigorous guidelines for charter schools success that include pre- and post-testing all charter students each year with all charter schools not showing one year's significant growth being shut down immediately (for the sake of the children).
SUCS hopes everyone who cares about education, the future of the U.S., and the children of the U.S. will join the fight to save unsuccessful charter schools, now!
There's no excuse, in fact, not to jump on board.