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Charter Schools Vs. Public Schools: Which Is Better?

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

WORD 2Charter schools turn 26 in a few months this year. The innovative ‘new’ school system has become an increasingly popular choice for American parents with more than 2 million enrollments recorded each year. Despite this, a lot of parents are confused on which option is better for their ward, traditional public schools or charter schools.

To attempt to answer this question, there must be a fundamental understanding of how charter schools and public schools differ. While many know that charter schools are a sort of public funded private schools, there are still many differences in curriculum, governance, accreditation and more that many do not know.

Differences between Public and Charter Schools

1.) Public schools are created and run by school districts. Each school district can form any number of public schools. To govern the school district, a school board is formed. The school board takes the final decisions on what policies are implemented and how the schools operate day to day. Charter schools, however, can be created and run by almost any individual or group of individuals who contract with the government.

2.) Public schools have a wide reach for funding including state taxes, federal grants, local property taxes, fund allocations and municipal bonds. Charter schools, however, have very limited sources of funding. Their main funds come from local taxes or municipal bonds. Any other funds will have to come from awards, donations, and grants.

3.) Public schools receive accreditation from the state board of education. The state also sets Their curriculum and standard with mandates on what educational materials to use, restrictions on what will be taught, and certain prohibitions.

4.) Charter schools, on the other hand, receive accreditation from a private body. Although they have to maintain the same academic standards of public schools, their curriculum is less rigid. Most charter schools have a particular focus in one aspect of education be it music, art, or science. Some highlight a specific approach to learning, and as a result adopt wide alternative curriculums, and teaching practices.

4.) Public schools are open to everyone living in the locale. Charter schools are also open to everyone, but because they mostly cannot handle a large capacity, so lotteries are used to pick spots for kids. Charter schools can also target a particular demographic in a way public schools can’t. This can range from low-income families to minorities.

Which is better?

Both school types have their strengths and weaknesses. Charter schools are more flexible in learning, are usually a tightly knit community, and can be perfect for kids who want to specialize in a particular discipline. They can, however, be disorganized, shut down unexpectedly, and underperform. Public schools are more structured and stable but can be rigid with a learning approach that doesn’t suit most kids.

At the end of the day, the question of which is better does not have a general answer. Some states have excellent school districts that outperform charter schools. But other places have very successful charter schools that do better than their public counterparts.


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Anticipated Changes In The American Education System

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

GOP CONVENTIONIn contrast to preceding years, the current changes that are about to sweep the American educational sector cannot be predicted. Obviously, this is due to Donald Trump emerging victorious in the last presidential elections.

But during his campaign, Trump didn’t say much about his plans for the educationaIl sector and most of what he did say lacked details. Some of the radical changes being anticipated are outlined below.

School Choice Push

In Trump’s administration, school choice is a central focus in his detailed proposals for the educational sector. To this end, Trump has pledged to invest $20 billion into a program that plans to allocate grants to states to enable the improvement and expansion of school choice around the country.

With Betsy DeVos’ appointment as the Secretary of Education, Trump’s administration is poised to push school choice. DeVos, who for many years has been advocating for school vouchers and charter schools is about to make her dream come true.

But it remains to be seen if Trump would follow through on his promises this year. Trump’s pledge comes at the cost of $20 billion. With his interest in the cutting of taxes, construction of a wall along the Mexican border, and possible implementation of a major infrastructural investment plan, he might not be eager to expend the effort necessary to lobby Congress for a K-12 push.

End of the Crusade on Campus Sexual Assault

During his campaign, Trump promised to revoke Obama’s executive directives ordered by Obama once he assumed office. If this promise is kept, a major effect would be felt on college campuses all over the country since the Obama administration used its executive authority to force schools to clamp down on sexual assault, which is believed to be rampant on campus.

The “Dear Colleague” letter of 2011, mandated schools to either lower their burden of proof for accusations of sexual assault or lose federal funding. This directive, together with a surge of investigations by the OCR (Office for Civil Rights) drove college administrators to implement more aggressive policies on sexual assault. If Trump repeals the letter and reduces the investigative pace of OCR, the end of the crusade against campus sexual assault might very well be in sight.

Transgender Bathrooms

Another area that might be affected if Trump’s promise of repealing Obama’s executive directives is implemented is the issue of transgender persons using school locker rooms and bathrooms.

This issue is still a major source of conflict, with Republicans in North Carolina declining to amend the law in a special session that was held towards the end of last year. Also, a court case is still pending at the federal level against the joint letter by the Justice and Education Departments ruling that public schools should permit students to use bathrooms meant for their gender.

Although Trump might repeal Obama’s bathroom directive, this alone wouldn’t solve the issue. The issue may eventually have to be determined by the Supreme Court.


The 3 Week Diet

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Trump’s Administration And Its Education Blueprint

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

Education is key to nation building and development. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the US has always being rated as one of the countries that offer sound education. Is that still the case today? Most parents who want sound and quality education for their wards would be concerned about the blueprint of Trump’s administration for education. Any country that does not get it right in educating the younger generation is destined to fail. It requires a lot of determination to see that the education system succeeds.

468851272 The challenges facing the education system today are enormous both on the part of students, parents, administrators and teachers. These challenges are pronounced in the public schools.
Some of the challenges facing the education system in the US includes poverty, the size of classrooms, family issues, technology and funding just to mention a few. Where these problems mentioned above are not handled with care, the major losers are the students and their parents. For instance, where funds are not made available, it would require cutting down the number of staff. When staff strength is reduced and it doesn’t correspond with the population of the students, there is no way the students would get the best education. The teachers would be over-labored and wouldn’t be able to give out their best.

During the campaigns, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump spoke about their plans for the education system. However, the mantle of leader fell on Trump. Trump has an education blueprint, and many people still await the implementation in the coming months. It is still not certain the effect the educational plans of the current administration would have on homeschooling, public and charter or choice schools. In the last decades, homeschooling has increased and most parents are buying into the idea. Some of the major reasons for homeschooling is the cost of education, religious beliefs and concerns about the school environment. Some parents are also not satisfied with the instructions dished out to their children in school in public and charter schools. It’s obvious that the 2017 budget for public schools decreased compared to the previous years. If the education system is still facing a lot of challenges despite billions of dollars that are injected yearly, how then will the cut in the budget by Trump’s administration for the US department of education help?

The anticipation for a better and quality education in this current administration is high. Most people are eager to see how their blueprint would pan out. It is too early to cast aspersions or praise this administration until their plans and implementation are clear for all to see. Let’s wait and see what will unfold in the coming months. There is no doubt in my mind that our education system needs help.


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The Value Of Education In America Today

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

change-wordleNo doubt, people will always remain ignorant, stagnant, and frozen in time if they fail to continue opening their mind and allow themselves to be taught. The people’s edification is the force behind a nation’s brilliance and ability to prosper. The importance of education and its importance to societal growth and economic development cannot be overstated, as revealed by the study of several civilizations throughout history.

It’s extraordinarily debatable to consider how a country like the US values education in today’s society despite exerting certain prominent efforts. While some view the precise monetary value attributed by the American government to its varying tiers of education system as contradictory and even ineffective, many are of the opinion that such subsidization is crucial for the growth of the nation and its role as an international leader.

Considering education as the transmission of civilization, it is seemingly becoming hard to fully understand the importance it plays in the current culture of American society. Research has shown that the nation’s value of educational opportunities has been greatly hampered by certain economic factors. As a nation, it is obvious that America is in full support of the imperative role that education asserts in the progressive growth of prosperity for both the people and generations to come.

But in respect to the different areas of education that needs to be supported by the government (federal and state), there seems to be noted political discourse with wide ranging views. Along with the precise monetary value ascribed on the various tiers of the nation’s education system and the views held by its governments and citizens, there is no doubt about the prominent value that is being placed on the country’s education system.

Since America has one of the most robust education systems in the world, it is generally believed that it knows just how to educate. As a result of this, millions of people are drawn from across the globe to its shores to learn. However, for one reason or the other, it is still finding it difficult to make that consistent translated to K-12.

In recent past, quite a lot of options have been suggested to resolve this problem, from a systemic adjustment of classroom resources which helps to provide more time for kids to carry out specific projects to apprenticeship programs like “Spark” where children are paired with mentors when they attain a certain age so as to be able to achieve the necessary push of inspiration to move forward.

The value of education, as it seems, is more recognized mostly during times of economic turmoil. Clearly, these ideas cost a good amount of money even though they seem to present a readiness to break the chains of tradition.


The 2 Week Diet

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Should You Homeschool Your Children In 2017?

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

home-schoolHomeschooling however ignored by the government is increasingly becoming popular among American parents. Recent statistics from the Education Research Institute indicates that the number of homeschooled children increase by 3-8% every year reaching 1.8 million in 2012, a 700,000 increase from the 1.1 million counted in 2007.

While these numbers show that homeschooling is in vogue now, it still doesn’t answer the question of whether or not it is for you.

The Homeschooling Myth

It’s funny to think that in earlier centuries homeschooling was not only common, but it was the norm. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the law made it compulsory for children to attend private or public schools outside the home. Since then there has been a negative myth surrounding homeschooling.

Many critics suggest that homeschooling will deprive a child of many aspects of education especially socially and mentally. This may hold to some extent, but with the recent evolution in technology, social activities do not have to revolve around school life anymore.

Besides homeschooled children have been shown to do way better in academics than public or private schooled children. In fact, a study done in 2009 revealed that 67% of homeschooled children eventually graduate from college, compared to 59% of public schooled children, 54% of Catholic schooled kids and 51% of private schooled kids.

So is Homeschooling Better?

While the stats are very encouraging, it is not so clear cut as one is better than the other. What homeschooling does is encourage an open-mindedness to what has become a rigid and machine-like educational system.

The reality is that times are changing and we are dealing with a new generation of kids who are tired of the same old menu of biology, chemistry, physics, and statistics.

They want more practicalized learning, they want to learn things that they can see and apply to the real world, they want to consume what they like and not what they have to, and the traditional school system does not exactly offer this.

Besides, several states are accommodating homeschoolers more into the system every day. States like Michigan welcome homeschooled kids to public school interscholastic sports. They also allow children to attend public school for part of the day and take advanced placement classes as well.

When Should Homeschooling Stop?

This is a nagging question for almost every parent. For starters, it is easier to homeschool younger kids than older ones. Thankfully, the flexibility of mixing both home and public schooling as mentioned above can solve some of these problems.

Generally speaking, homeschooling is a joy for some parents and kids, but a nightmare for others. If it doesn’t work for your kids or you, stop.

There are other options to homeschooling and traditional schooling. Charter schools are the most popular alternative at the moment, and based on the speech by the new secretary of education, Betty DeVos, it might be a major focal point for the Trump administration.


The 3 Week Diet

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Education, Its Challenges And Way Forward

Posted by Admin On April - 23 - 2017

The Way Forward xMany setbacks and challenges currently bedevil education in the United States. The quality of education has reduced. Amidst the various measures to curb this trend, people are of the opinion that enough effort is not done. Yet, rigid plans at putting our educational system in the right path is a mission easier said than done. The most important task is to identify the ever-changing challenges facing the sector. Thus, prevent a state of emergency in the educational system. It is worthy to note that parents, teachers, and students alike face these challenges.

Family challenges limit the involvement of parents in the educational process. These challenges include limited family resources, divorce, lack of time, and career. This results in continuous struggle in school and low educational success of students. Today, schools are accessible to students from middle and upper class families. Thanks to rapid increase in university and college tuition. More so, a huge number of students are out of school due to difficulty in securing students loans. Where a student loan is possible, outrageous interest rates become a burden. Dropping out of school becomes the only available option. With no intervention in view, crime, drug abuse, and outright poverty become the order of the day in the long run. Is it possible to remedy the situation? Most Americans are asking this question.

The lack of innovation in the training of teachers is a major challenge for teachers. The quality of education is declining because teachers lack the right teaching tools. This poses great dangers to students and the educational sector at large. It has made the teaching process somewhat difficult for teachers. Proper training of teachers with innovative tools and skills will remedy situations. Increase in budget allocation for the training of teachers is an escape route. As confirmed by National Center for Education, over-crowdedness in public schools is alarming. The Center notes that 15 percent of public schools house more students than required. Obtainable data show that only 40 percent of 80 who graduate from high school can read. Majority of them are not well equipped for college and real life. Thus increasing the number of school dropouts.

Safety is a major issue in need of urgent attention in our educational institutions. Home education is on the increase due to unsafe nature of our school. So rather, than attend school, people prefer now home education. The Trump administration is commitment in promoting a safety culture in our institutions. The Secretary of Education in Michigan echoed this commitment without mincing words. The result for extra school choice in the accountability plan of States seems low. Out of ten states to have submitted their plan, only three addressed this issue. Rather than propose new policies, focus is on improving existing policies about choice. More so, the quest for school voucher funding by government has raised issues. Among these issues is the need to standardize curriculum for all schools in the country. If this happens, improvement in the quality of education is sure. Students in public, private and home schools will have better learning exposure. The result will be steady improvement in the quality of education.

On a personal note, many unpleasant situations are thriving in the educational system. Inadequate funding, increased closure of schools, rising tuition, and budget cuts are rampant. Thus, the need for adequate funding and reopening of closed schools is essential. Thorough implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act is necessary. The time for a unified curriculum is now and where possible its implementation put in place. Increase in education budget in State and Federal level is a matter of national urgency. Nonetheless, Washington, States, and stakeholders of education must gear towards restoring our dignity. Parents must get involved in the educational progress for sustainable growth.


The 2 Week Diet

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