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Parents And Teachers Say Charter Schools Get These 4 Things Right

No matter how you feel about school choice, a few of its tactics are worth a deeper look

You’ve probably heard a lot about charter schools lately, but you may not know exactly what they are, or what makes them so popular in some circles—and controversial in others. Now, with the proposed federal budget devoting $500 million in funding to charter expansion across the United States, you’re likely to hear even more about these publicly funded, independently operated campuses. And love them or leave them, charter schools’ unique status affords them the opportunity to function outside the traditonal educational model—offering a few key advantages.

Flexibility

The greatest is “the ability to have flexibility in curriculum, thus truly finding ways to teach material to all types of learners and levels,” says Kelley Reischauer, a parent of a sixth-grader at Valley Charter Elementary School and an eighth-grader at Valley Charter Middle School, which are both located in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

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Education

There’s A Secret To Hiring Better Teachers—And It Isn’t Higher Pay

The gig famously offers high stress, low salary, and no respect, but only one of those things really matters

A couple of years ago, I worked as a mentor coach for beginning high school English teachers. We met once a month to discuss best practices and classroom management strategies—but mostly, we met to give these new teachers an opportunity to talk and ask questions. And boy, did they. They wanted to know about communicating with parents, dealing with administrators, and lesson planning. They wanted to know about scheduling conferences, evaluations, and implementing individualized education plans for students with disabilities.

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Education