Sunday, October 26, 2008

281 Referendum YES281 : Public, Charters, Private

So who does provide the most bang for our buck ?

My co-workers and I were discussing this and came to a consensus that student success has more to do with the child and parents than the school type. Here is one story to help you understand:

My friend mentioned that a child was having problems in a public school. The mother moved the child to a private school and the child is doing much better. So we asked my friend how this happened and learned that the new school required the parents to sign a contract. The contract in this case states that the parents will limit screen time for the child, ensure the child completes their homework, work with the school to manage behavioral issue, etc. (This was a significant change for the child and parents) The school does have some different teaching techniques, however he was unsure of class size, cost, specific techniques, etc. Failure of the parents or child to meet the requirements of the contract would lead to expulsion... And possibly lead to the child being enrolled in public schools again. The moral of this story is: make sure you are not comparing apples and watermelons...

From the research I have done, often the private and charter schools get only students and families that value education and are willing to work for it. (ie bind them with contracts) Also, sometimes the private and charter schools will turn down the other "higher cost" students. (ie poor test scores, poverty, behavior issues, home problems, ESL, special needs, etc) They have a valid reason in that they are not properly equipped to manage these issues, whereas our public schools are. (when we fund them)

In summary: The RAS public schools are likely doing a better job than we give them credit for, given the diverse student and parent groups they are working with.

Remember to check details when comparing Performance and Cost.

Thoughts? VOTE YES on Option 1 & 2

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