Charter School or Traditional: Which One Will You Choose?
When it comes to picking a school, many parents face a tough choice. There are so many schooling options these days and some of them are quite new, so it can be quite hard to decide which school is the best. To make a decision, you have to know about what types of schools exist and how they differ.
Charter and traditional schools are one of the most common options. It seems that they don’t differ much as both these schools receive funds from the state and report about their work to the state too. However, there are actually more differences.
Let’s compare traditional schools with charter ones to find out, how exactly they differ and which one of them is the best option for your children.
Traditional and charter schools differ by:
1. Study program.
Traditional school teaches children according to traditional programs created by the state: such programs change only when the state says so. Charter school, however, is able to modify traditional programs as it likes. Charter schools usually are the first to implement various innovations into study process. They can also focus on a certain subject or subjects: for example, you can find a school focused on science, an art school, and so on.
That’s why if your family already has an idea of what your child wants to do for a career, a charter school focused on a certain subject can be a better option than a traditional one.
2. Admission process.
Students don’t have to pass any tests when they apply to a charter school. Moreover, charter schools accept everyone and are free for everyone: that’s why more students with low income and more students of color study there. However, they can reject some students too: for example, the ones that demonstrate bad behavior. Moreover, statistics show that they take fewer students with special needs (probably because not all charter schools are designed to fit their needs).
One of the best things about charter schools is that you can choose any school you want, no matter how close or far from home it is located.
If there are too many students willing to apply to a certain charter school, a school usually changes the admission process: for example, students are chosen with a help of a lottery, and so on.
Charter schools are closed more often than traditional ones: this happens because they have to meet certain standards and the inspections are held every few years. However, this also means that charter school has to work hard to meet these standards, and so many schools demonstrate higher academic achievements, organizational skills, etc.
4. Parents’ involvement.
Many charter schools appeared because of the parents, who wanted to take their children’ education into their own hands. These days parents continue to create charter schools on their own; however, if a school isn’t created by parents, they are still involved in the study process deeply. Teachers and parents in charter schools usually cooperate to improve academic performance of a child.
Of course, parents can be involved in the study process in traditional school too; however, it is less required. If a charter school rejects students who behave badly, it’s up to their parents to improve their behavior in order to keep a place in a school.
As you see, traditional schools stick to a certain study program, while the charter ones can change it. Traditional schools have to accept certain students by law, while the charter ones accept everyone, but can decline an admission or change an admission process, when there are too many students wanting to enter.
Traditional schools are more protected by the state; they rarely close, but also are less flexible. Charter schools are more innovative and still continue to develop, though they are less protected at the same time.
There are no general recommendations when it comes to choosing a school for your child: you have to do it on your own and think about things that matter to you the most. We wish you good luck and hope that you’ll make the best choice!
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