How Charter Schools are Thriving Over Public Schools | Dr. Freda Deskin
All across America, people want to help their children get the best possible education. Freda Deskin, Ph.D., an award-winning educator for over 40 years, has identified a variety of benefits that charter schools offer to today’s youth.
Are public schools failing? Dr. Freda Deskin has pondered this question heavily over the years. Some are and some aren’t. That is also true of public charter schools, online schools, and private schools. Failure is sometimes due to leadership and sometimes it is funding. Funding for public schools is not equitable. Funding too often relies on the industries located in a particular district. Some schools have 5 or even 10 times the amount of money to spend on students just because they are fortunate enough to be getting revenue from local industries. As such, traditional public schools aren’t the right answer for everyone.
This leads to one of the reasons Dr. Freda Deskin founded ASTEC Charter Schools in 2000. ASTEC is an inner-city public school located in Oklahoma City, designed to serve a population of students that are diverse, with a poverty rate of 97 percent. She finds that though charter schools receive far less funding than traditional public schools, charter schools with strong leaders are capable of promoting diversity more effectively than in most traditional public schools.
Another benefit of charter schools, according to Dr. Freda Deskin, is that they often allow for better teacher to student ratios. With a reduced class size, it’s easier to focus on the individual learning needs of the students. Dr. Freda Deskin says that it allows teachers to meet the needs of all instead of teaching to the lowest students while half the class becomes bored – or the other way around, leaving over half the class to struggle.
Charter schools must do a better job or they shouldn’t exist. Charter schools have the additional pressure that, unlike a traditional school, they can be shut down for lack of student progress or fiscal mismanagement.
There’s a significant amount of parental choice involved with charter schools. Dr. Freda Deskin explains that with public schools, parents are simply at the mercy of where they live to determine what school their child is to attend. With charter schools, there’s more choice. Every charter school does things a bit differently. They offer areas of specialization. It is almost like choosing a college, allowing parents to “interview” the charter schools. Charter schools feel the competition.
Additionally, as Dr. Freda Deskin is quick to point out, while charter schools must follow all state and federal laws and regulations there are a few differences that cut down on the bureaucracy that traditional schools face. Since charter schools have site-based management, the turn-around time for decisions is much faster.
While teachers in charter schools must teach the same state and federal standards, subjects, and testing, they are encouraged to use the methods of teaching that work best for their students. Innovation is the expected norm for teachers in charter schools.
Dr. Freda Deskin has identified that while parental involvement is no greater than in a public school with a similar population, the parents want what the charter school offers and take advantage of that choice.
While Dr. Freda Deskin identifies that not all charter schools are perfect, they offer a wide array of benefits that aren’t typically found within larger public education systems.