A Unique Approach: Education in Public and Charter Schools
School choice: two words that together spell out a multitude of educational options for students today. Among them are charter schools and public schools; public schools standing the test of time and charter schools being at the forefront of a revolution in educational change. Surprisingly, these two educational institutions have more in common than one might think, but maintain their differences. Key differences between charter and public schools include approach to education, funding, level of government involvement, and enrollment practices. Despite these differences, both charter and public schools share the following features: free of charge to students, required to demonstrate adequate yearly progress on state standardized tests and status as public institutions. Charter schools are educational institutions that share common features with public schools and at the same time have key differences that make them unique.
Charter schools and public schools share a definition as public educational institutions; however, there remain key differences within this explanation. Charter schools are independent public educational institutions that have the freedom to operate within a specific educational focus, such as math and science or agriculture science. (WestEd, 2010) Within the context of this specific educational focus; charter schools tailor curriculum, assessments, program goals, and measures of achievement towards the students their charter serves. (WestEd, 2010) Unlike charter schools, public schools are educational institutions that operate under the direction of a school board along with state and federal government whose rules and laws sanction their daily operation. (WestEd, 2010) The purpose of charter schools is to provide students and their family’s educational options in the face of a growing number of traditional public schools unable to meet the needs of students within the confines of their schools. (WestEd, 2010) On the other hand, public schools purpose is to provide a free education to students within the communities they serve, and receive assistance via funding from taxpayers in their community.
Charter schools and public schools receive funding from state and federal government that allows them to provide students with a free public education. Student enrollment is a key factor, which determines the amount of funds school receives. (WestEd, 2010) However, public schools, unlike charter schools, have the ability to levy taxes within their communities in order to help with the cost of education. (MN Association of Charter Schools, 2010)
A key difference that separates charter schools from traditional public schools is the unique approach charter schools take in education. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools have the freedom and flexibility of designing their schools around the unique needs of the students it intends to serve through its...