Selected readings on US charter schools
PBS Newshour’s recent report, “Improving Achievement with Focus on Scholarly Expectations,” is a terrific reminder of how investments in high-performing public charter schools can drastically improve the lives of students. The segment, posted online on February 4, shows the supportive and structured atmosphere at Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle School.
“I can focus as much as I need to,” Academy Middle School 6th Grader A.J. Montgomery told PBS. “My old school, there was always something going, there was always whispering.”
According to State Department of Education data, students at Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle School on average perform at “target level” (meaning that students at the school score better than most on standardized tests), a success rate of which educators, administrators and students at the school should be proud.
Academy Middle School is not alone – there are many high-performing, public charter schools in Connecticut that offer students a high-quality public school choice.
Families are lining up to get into high-performing public charter schools like Academy Middle School. In fact, thousands of Connecticut children are currently on charter school wait lists. There aren’t enough schools or seats to meet parents’ demand for these quality options.
As state leaders make tough budget choices this year, we hope they will meet this demand by growing more options. State leaders must also help support and sustain these schools by more equally funding charter school and traditional public school students. Creating more equitable funding for charter schools, as Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed in last year’s landmark education package, Public Act 12-116, is an essential strategy to closing our state’s worst-in-the-nation achievement gap.
The PBS segment is worth a watch for anyone concerned about how to ensure all kids have access to an excellent education. The story of Achievement First Bridgeport Academy Middle School shows how quality public charter schools can effect meaningful change in the lives of children and their families.
Source: Great Schools for All (blog) – by Jennifer Alexander