This year, I have participated in, listened to, and read countless articles, like this one: Charter Schools in Boston Outperform Their Peers, Study Finds, which in a rather circumventing way speaks about the “beef” between charters schools and “traditional” public schools. Although I have clearly heard the arguments and even understood some of the sentiments expressed by my colleagues in education who work at charter and/or conventional public schools, my only yearning is that they STOP fighting, in my opinion, a senseless fight that will probably never end for as long as the two communities co-exist.
Whether you work at a charter school or a conventional public school, focus on your mission and to the best of your ability; assist the students that you encounter on a day-to-day basis. Try to no longer allow the unveiling of ridiculous studies, data points or sideline conversations to knock you off of that course. I graduated from a conventional public school and as a professional, I have spent years working with both charter and traditional schools; it is my experience that both communities have done some phenomenal work at times, and both communities have failed many of our young scholars, other times. Rather than opposing each other, why not fight harder to discover ways in which the two groups can work together?
Respectively – each institution has its pros and cons, but if we eliminate the redundant conversations about which institution graduates more seniors or have more students taking AP exams, etc, then perhaps we can begin to understand that both traditionals and charter schools ultimately have the same or similar destinations – even though they may take dissimilar routes to get there.
Really, what is the “beef?” If you submit a response to this question, please be willing to offer some insight about how to resolve “your” beef, because whether you admit it or not, it is your beef.
Written by: Edward Walker
Founder and President of I.C.E