The lifting of the charter school cap in N.C. has led to much debate, and as Wake County anticipates a surge in options for education we need to understand the real ramifications of these new schools. This is not a debate about removing money from our current system, and it is not an attempt to create a Mecca of education for the wealthy.
At its core, the charter school movement is about challenging our belief that only a select few of our children can be educated. Those of us who have advocated equitable access of qualified, economically disadvantaged children to rigorous courses and Gifted and Talented programs have hit barrier after barrier in the traditional public schools. The response of our system has been incremental at best, and for every step forward we often take another two steps back through policy change that adds additional layers of requirements to keep capable children away from opportunity.
We know that well-chosen charter schools can provide much needed disruption to the current standard of education. We hope they come to Wake, and we hope they show us that all children can do amazing things when high expectations are set.
Shila Nordone, Raleigh