Terry Moe Was Right
As Terry Moe predicted in his groundbreaking book, “Special Interest,” charter schools continue to make great strikes in improving education, and in improving teacher academic freedom. Without the traditional monopoly bargaining strictures which hamper most public school teachers, charters allow teachers the freedom to represent themselves to their employers, and the freedom to innovate and teach effectively.
As more charter schools become established, CEAFU reminds teachers that it offers workplace rights information for Charter School Employees: Peter Roff has the story in the Washington Times:
It is possible to customize learning programs in ways that were unthinkable even 20 years ago. Nevertheless, the educational establishment remains wedded to the current system and is unwilling to think outside the box when looking for reforms and improvements. Charter schools — primary or secondary schools that receive public money but are not subject to the same rules, regulations and statutes that apply to other public schools — are a particularly intriguing choice. Operated by teachers, parents, nonprofit groups, universities or corporations and often offering a specialized field of instruction, they provide an alternative to the rigidity of the current K-12 educational structure.
They also typically provide a better education, which is why the competition for enrollment is so intense. Many communities in which they operate are forced to hold lotteries to determine who may attend. More parents than there are available spaces see them as opportunities for their children to receive a quality education of the kind not available in the normal course of affairs.
The specialization offered by charter schools can be of great benefit not only to regular students, but to those with special needs. “Even skeptics who question the value and significance of charter schools will welcome the news they are making important strides in serving children with special needs,” says the University of Washington’s Center on Reinventing Public Education.
A new age requires new approaches, grounded in traditional values. This certainly is true in the field of education, where charter schools are showing the way forward.