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April 02, 2009

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As a parent I have the responsibility to ensure my child gets the best education possible. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that PPS tends to educate to the lowest common denominator. My 3 older children attended Catholic grade school followed by Jefferson HS in the early to mid-1980's and that was the worst decision I ever made. At the time I thought I was being supportive of the community, not fleeing to the suburbs, etc. My children received a VERY poor education, the effects of which I still see today. My youngest child also attended parochial grade school but then went to Benson (back when students actually had to be admitted on their merits). The difference was night and day. To go to a public-school meeting and see 10 parents in attendance indicates to me that they simply don't care. You cannot convince me that out of a population of 800-900 students, 98% of the parents cannot participate due to economic reasons. Yes, I earn an above-average salary, own several cars, don't work evening, etc.; and I want the best for my children. I don't really care what your excuse is for the poor performance, but I will say - fix the schools first, then ask me to send my child there. Whether it be a private school or charter school, in any case my grand children will NEVER attend a PPS.

I agree, Gerald, that we should fix the schools. I'm just not sure about the "first."

Even with the cooperation of the district and the school board (because of budget constraints, Benson is the latest victim of short sighted district and board policy), it will remain difficult for under-enrolled high poverty schools to attract the student and parent support they need to become quality schools.

It's a conundrum. I certainly can't blame you for wanting the "best for your children."

Terry: I commend you for including "choice and charter" schools as stumbling blocks to the ability of PPS to provide strong neighborhood schools to all PPS students. There is a tendency on the part of many posters to accept district run "choice" schools as long as they employ union teachers and serve to retain the support of affluent parents.

In addition to the need to retain parental and student support in low-popularity schools, there is a need for policies and contract provisions to establish and retain effective and experienced teacher cadres in each of those schools.

I see charter schools as an option for parents who want private school but don't want to pay for it.

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Gerald, that we should fix the schools. I'm just not sure about the "first

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For some parents, charter schools offer an alternative to what they view as the stifling orthodoxy of traditional public schools. In districts that bow to the testing dictates of No Child Left Behind (like PPS), charters are refuges from excessive testing and the obsession with literacy and numeracy at the expense of a much broader curriculum that includes music and art and all the other areas of student learning that can't easily be assessed by a multiple choice test.

I agree that some words that simply does not make sense, but hey, look at it this way ... at least your child learn more how the words before his time. I do not think it's a waste of money. If it was not a gift, I paid for it.

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Charter or not some schools do better because school management and parents care. Parents have to take active role in their children's education. It is their children at the end of the day.

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Thanks for posting this. Still not sure what side of the debate I sit on, but I feel like I could make a smarter choice now whatever it is.

Charter or not some schools do better because school management and parents care. Parents have to take active role in their children's education. It is their children at the end of the day.

Parents have to take active role in their children's education. It is their children at the end of the day.

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I personally don't see any difference between charterd schools and school choices.Some parents may think so.But the meaning still remains the same.

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The charter school option is better!

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