Why Public Schools Feel Threatened by Charter Schools

It seems that public schools don’t care as much about their struggling students as charter schools do. A charter school is opened with the specific goal of fulfilling unmet needs. For whatever reason, good district public school education isn’t being equally disseminated. This is common knowledge.

Opposition Perceived as Competition 

The first people who might beg to differ would be public school teachers. I don’t think most parents have issues with them. That would be akin to blaming pawns for capturing the other chess pieces. Teachers’ roles are decided by superiors. Instructors don’t regulate the schools or write the curriculum. The chasm between faculty and administrators is due to the latter acting as the foe. Thus, most teachers retire as teachers instead of as principals.

Simple Reasoning

Charter schools wouldn’t exist if:

  • there weren’t real problems at district public schools 
  • those issues weren’t encountered by responsible parents and students 
  • mothers, fathers, and legal guardians didn’t want their valuable children to be functional, and 
  • the unmistakably concrete world after high school graduation wasn’t in the near future. 

You would think that anyone who really cared about learning wouldn’t complain or react as though charter schools were the enemy.

Growing Families Who Deserve More 

The child population in this country is increasing. Latinos have the largest families regardless of income or background. That alone would add quite a few students to the school structure anywhere in America. Larger houses are being constructed for the same reason. That’s not a new development.

Bigger families lead to more students. Children typically outnumber adults in the family unit. 

For decades, the average K-12 school has had portable classrooms on campus. Clearly there wasn’t originally enough room to compensate for growth. Don’t forget about the applicable school overflow notices is attributable to maximum capacity. They were right on the school signs themselves. Think about it. Middle school lasts only two years on average. Yet those educational institutions have portables. It reveals that help is needed throughout the school system. Surely there are enough students for schools to share. It’s especially true if the below-average students are included.

The Answer to the Question

Enter charter schools, which are interested in those niche groups. Underserved and underperforming students could be classified as such. How can those young people contribute to society as adult? Their education doesn’t prepare them for it.  

Both charter and public schools desire to teach children. Any place that’s willing to partake should be deemed an ally. It could be compared to parents and step-parents having petty arguments over the children.  They’re all responsible for raising them. Now picture of public school that’s truly in danger. It’s unable to employ full-time faculty and staff. That institution should reconsider its operational processes. The explanation would be that such an inability is abnormal and unusual.

Other Considerations

Charter schools have to market to the community at large to garner students. Public schools base their population their student enrollment on street addresses. Parents choosing charter schools for their children are already seeking another option. They can also be converted by another family’s position on it. It  won’t matter whether that viewpoint is positive or negative.

Faces of School Choice

No district public school dares to challenge the existence of private schools. How can they? Tuition is charged, uniforms are assigned, and they flourish via quality education. A free public school can’t compete. Private school parents are willing to exceed what public schools would ask of them. They continue to do so. First time private school parents are willing to pay for the experience. It’s no wonder public schools can’t reasonably oppose it. 

Charter schools don’t usually provide transportation. A charter school parent is willing to invest personal effort by:

  • driving kids farther away for school, 
  • adapting to a new or different educational system, or
  • anything beyond what they would have to do for a district public school education. 

Those actions say volumes about their characters and their belief in their children’s potential.

The Burden of Responsibility 

It’s a parent’s job to be aware of how a kid’s education is going. There’s only so much time to give, receive, and achieve it as minors. Parents know it. Charter school teachers are aware. Charter administrators know it. Charter school starters initiated the movement. All any public school is losing is face when its students transfer to a charter school. The affected employees should rethink the object of their dissatisfaction. again. Insulting, demeaning, or defaming the charter school industry disrespects the parent’s right to school choice.

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How to Know If Tutoring Will Work

IMG_2475Tutors are not fairies. They don’t fix a problem so you can continue academic mistakes. When you request a tutor, he or she may already know what the problem is. Solving it takes input from everyone associated with it. That includes the student.

 

The Tutor May Be Armed

The tutor has some background information about the situation. Usually, he or she will know whether the student is performing at grade level. If not, a pretest will reveal that and more. For instance, it will tell the tutor exactly what a student’s skill level is for a subject and at what grade level. This is true even if the student is below his or her assigned grade level in that subject. Tutors are prepared.

 

What the Tutor Recommends

Between lessons, the tutor may expect the student to complete special assignments or do some other activity. Even if the suggestion is to read for pleasure, do so. There are many benefits to following the tutor’s advice. They’ve got reasons for their suggestions. Ask one if you want to understand the methods.

 

If the Student Ignores a Tutor’s Guidance…

It will hinder progress. The tutor has knowledge the student doesn’t possess. The idea is to improve the student’s performance. This is especially relevant when a student is behind his or her assigned grade level. Why? Such a student has the following concerns each day:

  1. Because there will still be homework for the assigned grade level class.
  2. There will be tutoring sessions two to three times a week.
  3. The tutor may assign work or activities to be done between sessions.
  4. That’s a lot of work if it’s ignored and allowed to pile up.

 

Tutoring Is a Tutor’s Job, But…

The tutor isn’t the one who needs tutoring! Without student effort, the process is in vain. Just like the teacher isn’t the only one responsible for student progress, neither is the tutor. Everyone in the tutoring process is there to help the student. Except for the pupil, they’ve all jumped that hurdle and succeeded. Trust the tutor!

 

 

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10 Ways to Know If a For-Profit School Is a Good Fit

file9751344548347Sure, they’re accredited. Yes, they have a placement office. Of course they have commercials that include testimonials from their graduates. They’ve been around a long time. Well, there’s more to know.

 

  1. Is this field of study in line with the results of assessment testing?
  2. Are you considering this program just to make good money?
  3. Do you think you shouldn’t work while you attend this school?
  4. Do you have to attend five days a week?
  5. How does it compare to its competitors?
  6. What’s the graduation rate?
  7. What’s the pre-graduation employment rate?
  8. What’s the post-graduation employment rate?
  9. What is the employer’s market share in the industry?
  10. Do you realize you may have to adjust your personal life, i.e., who’s in it?

 

Traditionally Gender-Specific Industries

If you’re studying in a traditionally male or traditionally female field, the above questions matter if you’re of the opposite sex. You don’t want to spend months or years studying when you’re unlikely to be taken seriously in the field. This applies more to women working in traditionally male jobs. It can matter for men in typically female jobs as well. Bias is bias. Consider the Women in Tech movement or the success of male nurses.

 

Patience

Be patient. Rushing can take you headlong into a huge or expensive mistake. Waiting usually pays. These schools are usually flexible with enrollment. The pressure is on them, not you. Don’t let them convince you otherwise.

 

Get References from Actual Graduates

LinkedIn can help with this. Use the name of your potential school to search for graduates. Read their profiles to see how far their educations took them. It’s also possible to connect with them and get a conversation going. Try to meet them if they live locally. That can save you much unnecessary and misguided effort.

 

 

 

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Why Employment Is the Point, Not College

file00060353280I’ve always been a fan of vocational education because it leads to work. Unfortunately, the consensus is that I support for-profit higher education alone. Such a situation requires research for a proper fit. Most candidates don’t realize its importance, so they skip it. When large sums are involved, research should be the first step. No place is exempt.

 

Training Is Training If It Pays

Vocational education is any training that gets a student a job. High schools have vocational components that make it possible. Some go so far as to be vocational high schools, which is even better. A certificate is a sure way of letting an employer know how serious a student is, especially early in his or her career.

 

Apprenticeship?

Apprenticeship is a dusty word I almost never hear. It is the precursor to becoming a licensed contractor. Industry knows the significance of the licensed contractor to customers and businesses, not to mention the references they earn. Licensing makes the contractor worth what he or she charges. Unlicensed work is cheaper but can be costly by impeding future progress.

 

Options, Options, Options

Somehow, none of this is mentioned in the typical high school career conversation. Everyone involved behaves as if a university degree is the only option ever created. People keep missing the point, which is employment. That can be done in any number of ways. In this country, society keeps saying it’s college. That’s like telling Revlon, L’Oreal, and Cover Girl that the only way to get a manicure is at a nail salon. There are usually multiple routes to achievement.

 

Support Staff Jobs

Think about it. Law firms employ law clerks and legal secretaries. Accounting firms hire accounting clerks and file clerks. Dental office staff includes dental assistants and dental technicians, aside from dentists. Medical assistants and medical records technicians have long since been a part of the health care landscape. Since when does engineering not require an engineering technician or an assembler?

Some of those jobs are held by people working toward higher positions. They could be college students. Maybe they’re just ambitious. Perhaps they are already professionally content where they are. The focus is that they have income on their way to Nirvana. Even if they never reach it or don’t care, they’re functioning as adults.

 

Big Weddings v. Elopements

Insisting on perfection stalls things like weddings and careers. Call it procrastination if you like. How many people work in their dream jobs? Honestly, not many do. However, they are employed, whether by others or themselves. It counts. That’s really all we’re trying to get our kids to do—be independent. Why use a shipping crate to give a kid a ring when a ring box will do?

Sending kids directly to college after high school is often complicating things. They can always go to college. The rare exceptions are the ones who wouldn’t have gone except right out of high school. Unfortunately, college dropouts and the undeclared outnumber them.

 

Respecting the Dreams of Babes

Another thing is vicarious parents. It may be your dream to create a legacy law firm. If you don’t know what your kid wants—aside from your approval—you’re wasting time. Family tradition in the professional arena should be a genuine, mutual decision. I have my doubts about families where everyone has the same career. I always wonder who’s pretending. If that’s what they want, I’m supportive. It’s certainly no surprise when they don’t want it.

 

Conclusion

Some people are motivated by success. Others fuel their fire by doing something they love. Neither scenario is wrong unless it feels wrong. In that case, there needs to be a plan.

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10 Reasons Why College Students Should Work

WaOv3gw3Forget the college experience as adult benefits with a teenaged lifestyle like a long-term sleepover. The point is to get a job and acquire independence. What’s the point of being an adult if you don’t build on your effort?

 

 

  1. It makes you worth the salary you expect after graduation. The college degree is supposed to make you worth more money than the person without one. That won’t be automatic unless your major is in demand by an industry.
  2. To gain relevant experience. Anyone can work in retail. If your major isn’t in finance, accounting, or management, it’s the wrong field.
  3. The college experience is temporary. Education and experience will always be a part of your life. Parties usually end. Friends come and go. Networking includes socializing. You need to know who you are and where you want to be.
  4. So you don’t get distracted from the goal. The point of college is employment—case closed.
  5. It sets you apart. Not every college student works. Peers may tell you to take it easy and be less serious. You shouldn’t hang out with people like that. Do you want to make $31,000 annually to start or $60,000?
  6. They transition from young adult to real adult. You shouldn’t be suddenly trying to make this change just before or after graduation. It should be a gradual process.
  7. You have great flexibility with your time. You can work part-time, full-time, every day, certain days, every year or just the last one or two.
  8. You have options for positions. You can try out what fits and what doesn’t with little to no penalty. You can also work in different positions to get a well-rounded view of an industry.
  9. Your field will take you seriously. The typical college graduate won’t have the work experience you do on his or her resume. College students aren’t expected to work. It says much if you do so.
  10. You can start networking and making things happen professionally. You’ll be meeting people who may become references or connections for future jobs. College is an adult endeavor. Treat it like one by getting everything possible out of your education.

It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re in college. Enjoy yourself. Remember the goal.

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10+ Reasons Why Kids Should Skip College

file0002022362803When it comes to school for your children, you have to monitor the schools regardless of the type you choose. That’s what makes charter schools a good idea. You don’t have to come up with an alternative because someone’s already doing it at a brick-and-mortar school that’s staffed and ready. This matters if you want your kids to be prepared for college. Then there are the ones who shouldn’t go.

 

Stand Back. I’m Naysaying.

I’m generally not on the bandwagon for sending kids to college unless it’s compulsory. Sending them just because it’s the next level after high school is nonsense.

  1. My biggest rule is knowing what you want to do for a living before declaring a major. Otherwise, how will the plan ever work?
  2. Kids that don’t know what they want to do shouldn’t go to college. It’s a mistake. First, you’re wasting money. Second, you’re hoping that they’ll figure out their lives in a few years.
  3. Many people have gone to college and found they didn’t like what they studied. Trying to save face with peers and elders is costly.
  4. Statistics is a karma class. I came across a young man burdened by all major adult decisions in life except childbirth and buying a home. He was a few weeks behind on statistics homework. In hindsight, repeating it was probably the worst scenario to him at the time. Surely now he sees that viewpoint wasn’t worth postponing his degree.
  5. Students don’t always realize that college doesn’t have to last all day. They actually have more flexibility than they do in high school. Students who are not interested in learning probably don’t even know this.
  6. Many people are afraid to admit a life goal that doesn’t require a degree of any kind. Some women only want to have families. That’s not a crime. It could be cultural or based on their country of origin. Even outside of that, it’s acceptable. Many men want wives that stay home.
  7. Job seekers without degrees claim they don’t get hired because of that. They should have a heart-to-heart conversation with unemployed college graduates. Some of them think their degrees prevent them from being hired.
  8. Many bosses don’t have college degrees but do possess the experience. Those degree holders might not. The unqualified may be in the same boat.
  9. Our society generally doesn’t advocate mentors. Those people know what it takes to succeed. No man is an island is a true, well-known quote by John Donne. Mentors prevent failure by directing and advising youth or inexperienced people. The point is to prevent stagnation, complacency, and professional death.
  10. Not just any old major or degree will do. It has to be viable and marketable. That should be researched before initiating a commitment like college.
  11. Some mistake other students’ zeal for their own majors as a sign that they should follow suit. There’s safety in numbers. College, degrees, and adulthood are as individual as can be.
  12. Apparently, some kids are compliant and will do whatever they’re told. Then there’s what they really want to do. There’s no special blue dot on their foreheads or a glow above them to make them identifiable. You have to get to know them in advance.

When they know what they want, then they should go to college. Or not…

 

 

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The Secret Discrepancy Between Academic and Professional Goals (Part 2)

This is a continuation from the previous post. Students have a way of saying things adults want to hear. They should listen to their truth.

Crash of the Nursing Boom

The nursing arena is now unerringly profitable for registered nurses. The 1990s boom that included a demand for licensed vocational nurses has waned. Job website searches for education and teaching display medical positions before any school industry vacancies. More nurses now work in other medical jobs instead of practicing their trade. Some RNs are trainers valued for their other or auxiliary experience in the industry, e.g., software applications or their knowledge of medical environments. Some LVNs would rather use their nursing skills despite higher salaries in positions that use less training. That’s understandable. Nursing programs are rigorous.

Big Talk v. Bitter Truth

Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger contains one of my favorite professional anecdotes. It’s about a young woman with dreams of becoming a lawyer. She chose to work as a paralegal while pursuing her goal. The surprise was that she found contentment there and thus ended her pursuit of a law degree.

Experience Related to the Major

That kind of conclusion is the reason I support working or interning in the same industry as one’s college major. There are certain gifts that only experience can give you. One of them is clarity. You see, we give our kids lots of theory about education and work. How much of that is vicarious should be considered. How little of it helps determine what a kid’s potential or interests are should be as well. I had a teacher in high school that was using his second degree. The first one he liked in theory but disliked in practice.

Modeling Off the Catwalk

How many kids take just any job and end up hating it? How many respected adults in their lives sanction that action? I mean hating the job, not work. There’s such a thing as the wrong job. It’s a vampire hanging off the employee’s neck. Struggling to get through the day is implied. It shouldn’t be that hard. Lots of people go through the motions to keep a job. Motivation is the way to keep from becoming the bad or complacent employee. The former threatens the employer’s bottom line and the employee’s job security. The latter is an employee who is living a lie by passing on the surface and dying inside.

In a phone directory, “automotive” and “attorney” are two of the largest sections. There is a reason. Most adults need reliable transportation, whether purchasing or maintaining a vehicle. In a litigious society, an attorney is a mainstay. Only one requires a degree. Both provide considerable financial stability.

Give Them a Break

Basically, we should tell our children that a good basic education and two years of experience will launch their financial futures. College doesn’t guarantee what it once did. I would only promote it for adults who are established and financially independent. A major factor would be whether the employer would endorse pursuit of any higher education with a raise or advancement. In that case, it would also make sense for the employer to fund the necessary coursework.

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The Secret Discrepancy Between Academic and Professional Goals

We still assume that a college graduate is worth more money than a high school graduate.. It’s really a best-case scenario. We ought to say that. Our society blindly promotes higher education to young people. The promise of a demand for their talents is meant to create a higher income.

At Least Three Elephants in the Room

The 2014 film Larry Crownestarred Tom Hanks. It portrayed how an employee without any college education could be deemed irrelevant. He lost his job despite an exemplary work ethic. Later in the movie, one of the college-educated leaders present at his layoff had lost his own job.

We experienced adults discuss how the workforce has become less secure. We know job descriptions request openness, flexibility, and incredibly specific qualifications. The first two are code for doing the work of displaced staff. Most workers have usually reported to leaders who held less than a degree. Multiple articles have stated that the available jobs don’t require the higher education we keep encouraging.

Somehow, we don’t say any of this to our children. The schools don’t, either. Staff and faculty responsible for leading our children academically possess this knowledge. They themselves would use their insights to avoid executing these mistakes in their own careers. Kids don’t know any better unless they are observant or informed.

That’s a huge discrepancy.

The Disturbing Trend

A kid who can’t survive on his own may have to move back home. Parents usually have other plans by that stage. The kids could rent a place with roommates. Parental love will allow them to return home. Mom and Dad will be diplomatically waiting to require a financial contribution to the household. Young adulthood will be curbed by the dominion of an established adult who hopes the stay is temporary.

Our Reality

Too many leaders and not enough worker bees this is what we’ll get if we keep blindly promoting college. Actually, we’re there. How many students have said they want high paying careers? Plenty have. Students fear disappointing their elders and peers. How many lawyers, doctors, and engineers does our society need? Supposedly, we need more law clerks, paralegal, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioners, and engineering technicians.

The next post will feature solutions for the problem.

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Five (5) Motivators for School Choice

cheesy-mouseSchool choice is a big deal because some parents are unhappy with traditional public education. As a result, one solution is charter schools, are a relatively new option. This country is in such a tizzy about it that presidential candidates include it in their platforms.

It isn’t kids fault that the need for alternatives exists. Teachers are certainly not to blame.

First, no offense is intended towards those and others they know of who are exceptions to the following explanations. Millennials haven’t been around long enough to be the total focus of this post, so they aren’t.

Kids have a way of accepting whatever is prevalent in their generation. If they’re reasonably happy, almost everything about it is acceptable to them. What they don’t know, they don’t miss. Because of that, they may interpret any criticism of the situation as a personal attack against them.

For example:

  1. Music is different. The change in quality from the lyrics to the music notes is obvious to some. All it takes id the previous generation’s viewpoint. Songs center on fewer worthy subjects like well, sexual prowess, and being great drinkers or partiers. Raise your hand if you can identify the original for the samples you’ve heard.
  2. Cartoons have changed. Somehow, cartoons with mindless plots, adult themes, peculiar characters, and questionable animation rule the day. Many are shown on cable channels dedicated to airing them for most of a 24-hour period. Before television viewing required cable or a converter, quality cartoons were aired before school and after school on weekdays. Even on Saturdays, they only lasted the morning. After that, generally, kids played outside or found other things to do.
  3. Technological shortcuts are provided for education basics like research. If it can be done on a phone or another device, it will. When books contain unfamiliar words, students don’t want to find the definitions. They don’t feel they should. Who’s modeling that besides the teacher? Learning new words was once a sign of intelligence.
  4. Readers are offended easily. In their eyes, it’s all about being up to date, not competent. How many books are read by the kids you know, whether they’re your children, your students, or not? Do they own them? There are still people who don’t know where the public library is. That’s because they can, among other things, download books on phone apps like Kindle.
  5. American Idol is over, but the concept of singing iconic classics to determine someone’s talent is etched into our society. The winners of these types of competitions don’t usually get new material as good as what qualified them. Going pro should be more advantageous.Should There Be a Disclaimer Here?Notice how most of the items listed here are learned, controlled, and reinforced at home. Trust is a factor. What society allows is considered possible most of the time, even when it’s not. Freedom of choice means we can usually do otherwise to offset any discomfort. That means it isn’t the parents fault, either.

    Traditional public schools are included in that. So are families and socialization.

     

    Conclusion

    Times change. If students aren’t prepared, whose job is it to close the gap? Anyone who sees and recognizes the problem is liable for solving it.

    Education is a low priority in the United States. Math knowledge is still a weakness despite its inhabitants being surrounded by technology. At least some parents and innovators decided to populate charter schools. That’s because they know that the responsibility to educate children and mold them into independent, informed adults is theirs.

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What We Should Teach Our Kids About Failure

Sir Richard Branson didn’t have the best educational record. He was supposedly a terrible student. So were Barbara Corcoran and Thomas Edison, among many. file0002096920720

It takes a lot to persevere in situations like those.

Kids don’t understand the “I’m still here” concept. They think they’re trudging through mud, a sewer, or cement. They don’t get that they’re living through a struggle.

What did the parents of famous failures think of them before their inevitable successes? Did they hold out for the best? Maybe they encouraged them no matter what. Perhaps they chimed in with the teachers that thought they were hopeless or wastes of time.

You don’t know that your kid won’t make you proud. Some people are too unique for the system or for status quo. They don’t “fit” because they’re different. Most parents want their kids to be special. By that, they mean unique or above the standard. Every baby is born as an individual like no other.

Not fitting isn’t a crime. Trying to force a good fit should be. It certainly hurts everyone involved. Giorgio Armani had a modest beginning that contributed to his greatness. That was different, and it got him positive attention.

Every person mentioned here is known for their fantastic level of achievement despite their pasts labeling them as unknowns or traditional failures.

School isn’t adulthood. It’s a regimented framework of habit. Adults can pretty much do what they please. They have more freedom and power. Some debate that.

We don’t teach our kids to keep thinking about their futures in spite of scholastic stumbling blocks. Dr. Ben Carson is an example of how that can work.

We lean toward teaching them tradition as opposed to success. We also model it in how we live. Telling them they won’t make it in life because they fail a school system’s measurement is wrong.

The key may lie in finding them a subject in which to excel.

  1. Encourage them to develop their hobbies for their self-esteem.
  2. Buy them magazines and books about their interests.
  3. Take them to local and major events for those activities.
  4. Introduce them to people who have succeeded with that hobby or skill.
  5. Join clubs so they can interact with others pursuing the same.
  6. Enroll them in classes where they can hone those talents or interests.

It makes their achievement real to them. They’re people like anyone else…or they’re not. They’re just people who happen to be our kids.

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