John Reeder: Where’s charter innovation?

January 8, 2014 

I read with interest the Jan. 6 news article “Charter expansion on agenda.” As I read the article, I realized how far the charter school movement has strayed from its mission in North Carolina.

The concept was sold to the public as a way for less supervised schools to experiment with new concepts and to convey their successful ideas to our public school system. These publicly financed schools, instead, have become like private schools funded with tax money.

I have checked with several sources within the WCPSS, and they could not identify one new idea that has come from the charter schools. These schools do not have to provide transportation or free/reduced lunches, and they can set their admission criteria. Many of them have very successful academic achievement and graduation rates, but if I were a principal and could select the children I wanted in my school, I could guarantee success also.

I think the public should insist that our tax money be used to improve the educational outcomes for all students, and the charter school system is not doing its part. It is time to step back and review how much these schools are draining from our public schools.

John Reeder, Raleigh

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