The school choice debate is a fierce one in Pennsylvania. From Erie to Philadelphia, parents searching for better educational opportunities for their kids regularly square off against anti-choice groups that vilify them for seeking alternatives to failing district schools.
The arguments against charter schools are passionate, but they are often wrong. The result is these false claims can confuse and misinform parents and divide communities.
Here are the eight most popular myths and misconceptions charter school opponents use in their effort to limit school choice and smear charter school advocates.
1. Charters are not public schools.
Yes, they are. “According to legislation, the governor, both parties in the Senate and House of Representatives, and the Commonwealth and Supreme Courts of Pennsylvania, charter schools are public schools,” Bob Fayfich, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools says. “Any statement to the contrary is in conflict with state law and the stated positions and decisions of all those legislative and legal institutions.”2. Charter schools aren’t held to the same standards as public schools.
“Actually, they are held to higher standards than traditional public schools,” says Jonathan Cetel, executive director of PennCAN, an education advocacy group committed to improving schools. “Like traditional public schools, they must take state standardized tests, but unlike traditional public schools, they are reviewed every five years and can be shut down if they aren’t performing.”
By Evan Grossman | From Watchdog.org January 26, 2016
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