By Worcester School Committee member John Monfredo
Throughout our city much has been said recently about the Charter School movement and its impact on our kids. Worcester will have its third Charter School: the Massachusetts Department of Education has approved the “Spirit of Knowledge Charter School.” The school will house students in grades 7 to 12 and classes will begin this September with 156 students in grades 7 and 8. While charter schools provide an alternative to other public schools, they are part of the public education system and are not allowed to charge tuition.
The general purpose of the Charter School program is to establish an alternative means within the existing public school system in order to provide innovative learning opportunities to improve the education of students.
There has been a great deal of controversy regarding the effectiveness of charter schools and whether they give additional benefits to students. A study performed by the American Federation of Teachers, which strongly supports charter schools, found that students attending charter schools do not fare any better or worse statistically in reading and math scores than students attending public schools. If one looks at the number of Charter Schools state-wide and looks at the research, you will find that Charter Schools are more expensive, more segregated and do not offer a better education to children. Continue reading Charting a dangerous course: the fallacy of Charter School superiority