Ten Feet Tall?

The bottle says “drink me” and it looks so delicious. The New York Times talks about some charter schools popping up around the country, particularly in urban areas packed with under-performing schools like mine. Many of my nearest and dearest have jumped the district’s sinking ship for a chance to have more control over how they teach. They say it’s wonderful and that every bit of satisfaction that they felt before is multiplied tenfold.

I can’t say that I’ve never held that bottle in my hands and thought about taking a sip. But there is always the voice in the back of my head reminding me that charter schools will never serve every child. While options are important for many families there will always be some that, for a number of reasons, don’t take advantage of them. The core of school choice is choice, some people will choose to stay where they are. It’s not always an informed choice and sometimes it is the default choice but there it is.

Many of them are concerned about their immigration status, some are caring for children that are not their own, others are illiterate, a few are too involved with drugs and gangs, and there is a heartbreaking handful that just doesn’t care enough to do the extra work that’s asked of them. I see it every day when five year-olds walk to school alone and no one ever helps with the homework or school projects.

The kids with the most desperate need will not be served by charter schools and I cannot abandon them, no matter how tall I could be.

–guestblogger Alice in Eduland

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