Elizabeth Weise

What can parents and communities do to create socioeconomically integrated schools?

More Middle-Class Families Choose Charters

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An interesting article about charters. It appears that in at least some suburban school districts, charters are offering a rigor families want but also are reaching out to a broad range of students, as part of the “intentionally diverse” school movement. In an era in which charters are likely to play a larger role in education, keeping schools diverse and integrated will be only more important. Thus, a potentially useful model to study.

More Middle-Class Families Choose Charters

Education Next Issue Cover

A political game changer for public school choice?

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SUMMER 2015 / VOL. 15, NO. 3

There didn’t appear to be anything extraordinary about this December morning gathering of about 40 middle-school parents in the multipurpose room at BASIS San Antonio North charter school. The topic: a “charters 101” presentation about Texas charter-school politics.

ednext_XV_3_whitmire_img01Then came the pitch: Are you willing to write a letter to state officials asking permission for BASIS to open up K–5 schools to feed into their existing middle schools? Sure, many of the parents answered.

Parents lobbying on behalf of charter schools is nothing new. Who doesn’t remember the massive march in New York City—thousands of children and parents trudging across the Brooklyn Bridge wearing T-shirts with slogans such as “My Child, My Choice,” all to protest the crackdown on charters by New York’s new mayor?

But there’s more to this story. The two BASIS charter schools in San Antonio, along with a Great Hearts Academies charter, are part of an effort to lure top charter schools into the city, and not just into the low-income neighborhoods where charters are traditionally found. San Antonio and the surrounding Bexar County are served by 17 independent school districts, ranging from high-poverty San Antonio Independent School District to the wealthy districts on the north side of the city. Some parents in the higher-income districts are disenchanted with the local schools, and they are looking for options. These “soccer moms and dads,” who typically opt for more academically rigorous schools, lend political heft to the broader charter movement in that city. In a political battle, who doesn’t want them on their side?

Please read more here.

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Written by Elizabeth Weise

December 2, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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