Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Have charter schools fulfilled promise as innovators? Debate persists - The Boston Globe

Have charter schools fulfilled promise as innovators? Debate persists - The Boston Globe:

Are charter schools truly innovative? The answer can depend on your definition



For decades, charter schools have been billed as “laboratories of innovation,” conjuring up images of teachers and administrators brainstorming and testing cutting-edge instruction that — if proven successful — could deliver salvation to urban education.
But the track record of Massachusetts charter schools on innovation is mixed. While some charters are innovative, others simply strive to build high-quality schools using existing methods and do not necessarily invent new practices.
In the end, charter school practices have been adopted only sporadically in other schools, and many educators in traditional districts say the innovations touted by charters are not really very innovative. Consequently, opponents argue that voters should reject Question 2 on the November ballot, which would authorize up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing charter schools.
But charter school operators, who support passage of the measure, argue that charters have been innovative and are influencing the course of public education for the better.
Match Charter School in Boston has come up with an intensive tutoring program that has gained national attention and has been replicated in such school systems as Lawrence. Phoenix Academy in Chelsea has created a college preparatory program for a most unlikely student population — those at risk of quitting high school — and has since partnered with Lawrence on a high school initiative.Have charter schools fulfilled promise as innovators? Debate persists - The Boston Globe:
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