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Charter School Spirit

Charter Schools – ‘20 Years of Innovation: Proving the Possibilities’

May 6, 2012
By Andrea Harder - Lead Teacher, Lafayette Charter School

May 6th-May 12th is National Charter School week. This year's national theme is "20 Years of Innovation: Proving the Possibilities." A fitting theme, because since their inception 20 years ago charter schools have seen fast growth and shown great results in raising student achievement. But for many the question still remains, "Why choose charter?"

First of all, charter schools are public schools and are tuition free. They have some unique traits that tend to increase the likelihood of a child's success. So let's explore those traits.

Charter schools are choice schools! Teachers choose to work in the school for their own professional satisfaction and for the sense of ownership in the school that comes from the opportunity to shape the school policy. Parents and families make the choice to send their children to this non-traditional public school. Charter schools serve the purpose of providing another choice in public education.

Innovative by nature! The dawning of charter schools was an innovation in education and today that innovation continues. Charter schools have the flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual students through innovative teaching methods, which lead to improved student achievement. Whether it's the curriculum charters use or the teaching methods used to deliver content, charter schools have shown their flair for innovation.

Flexibility to get it right! Charter schools have the freedom to make decisions about their curriculum and how to develop it, how to best structure the school day to fit their students' needs, and what teachers to hire to meet the needs of those students. This flexibility gives charters' the power to shape schools as they see best, fitting the needs of their school families.

Accountability to all! Charter schools operate with a multi-tiered accountability system. They must be accountable to the parents of their students by increasing each student's achievement level, to authorizers in meeting the requirements of their authorizer agreements, to taxpayers by using state and federal money in a fiscally responsible manner, and finally to the state by meeting all the statutes and laws put into place for charter schools. All of these accountability measures only help charters become quality schools that produce high achieving students.

So the only question that may remain is, "Why not check out if the charter choice is the choice for you?" Come see the innovation that Lafayette Charter School has to offer!



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