Is There a Secret to a Successful Charter School?

Letter to the Editor, (WSJ) 9/21/19

Robert Pondiscio’s, The Secret of a Charter School’s Success? Parents, is no secret. Parent participation in a child’s education has been an established fact well before the results of the 1966 Coleman Report. The largest study of its kind up to that point concluded that more resources, even for disadvantaged children, was not the best determiner of school success. The best determiner of school success was and is the “quality of the family.”

Success Academy’s demanding protocols coupled with some parent requirements are possible because charter schools can act independently from state regulations and teacher unions which strangle the standard public school.

However, there is no magic in establishing a charter school. Many of them fail for the same reason that public schools fail; teachers and administrators who staff charter schools are selected from the same talent pool eligible to be hired by private and public schools. There are never enough outstanding teachers and principals.

The first year my grandchildren were enrolled in a charter school in Florida, was a year of achievements and success. The parents were happy too. When the dynamic principal left for a better opportunity, her replacement, with the same faculty, did not enjoy the confidence of the staff or parents and there was a lot of grumbling.

The X factor, no secret, that contributes to a child’s success in school and life are parents who accept their sacred responsibility as their child’s first teachers and role models. They don’t rely on schools to raise their children.

James L. Casale, Tequesta, Florida

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