Are you aware of the Spencer Foundation’s Charter in Perspective Project? Issues are presented from different perspectives e.g. parental choice, preservation of public schools, and test beds for innovation.
Just for fun, here are some quick questions drawn from information on the site.
- What percentage of students are enrolled in charter schools in the U.S.? What is the percentage in New Orleans?
- Is public opinion about charter schools well informed?
- On average, how do traditional and charter students compare on achievement gains?
If you prefer a Common Core critical thinking question, you might ask:
- How would you account for the difference between the reasons parents give for sending children to charters and the charters parents actually select?
The answers and much more follow.
Answers: 5%; 100%; No; No average difference but there is great variation among schools. For the last question, go to the section of the report called ‘Families’.
You can browse for quite awhile on this site. There are materials that you can download and use.
Take a look at the ten topic questions below. Then, if you wish, go to the site and dig deeper. If you are preparing Action Items or hosting forums, In Perspective is a very good site for balanced information. Naturally, it is good practice to review the information carefully. Topics include: key facts, student achievement, student diversity, teachers and teaching, innovation, finance, governance and regulation, operators, families, and public opinion.
There are also ten questions with subtopics for policy makers and journalists to ask. These below are for policy makers.
- Which goals or problems are charter schools designed to address?
2. How would introducing or expanding charter schools affect other initiatives?
- How many charter schools do we need? How would we manage their growth or closure?
What should be the relationships between charter schools and traditional public schools
5. What outcomes should we expect from charter schools?
6. Who operates charter schools?
- How much oversight do charter schools need?
What are voters’ perspectives on introducing or expanding charters?
Will charters polarize our communities?
What can we learn from other communities?
One take away from the site is that the public supports charter schools even though they know little about them. The latest survey done by the Center for Popular Democracy shows a more nuanced view. In this poll, Americans were more knowledgeable about charters and supported stronger management oversight. We need to keep putting information out there.