• Gayle

    I just spent two days facilitating focus groups at an arts based highly diverse public charter high school. What I heard from parents, students, and alumni was what a savior this school was for those kids. Kids who had been bullied, kids who had no friends, kids who didn’t walk the jock talk, gay kids, transgendered kids, theatre kids, nerds, who are normally excluded from the cliques and social life of big comprehensive high schools. These students found acceptance, community, purpose, caring and achievement at their charter … all qualities that don’t get measured on standardized testing which is the only measure that seems to matter in the public realm. And it’s not just this school… I’ve seen it over and over again when classrooms are small, adults care, teaching is good, and students feel that they matter, and that they care beyond themselves. After 20+ years of dealing with intransigent, ossified, large public schools, I’m glad that the starfish story is there …couldn’t save them all, but at least we saved that one.
    Yes, I want to save all kids and we could do that if we focused our laser beams on dramatically increasing funding for smaller schools, quality school leadership, excellent teaching, wrap around services, community-engaged students, enriched subjects, experiential based learning — public charters are not the enemy.