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Private Management of Public Schools Posted:12.20.02
A student compares her experiences at both a public and privatized school.
By Christina Sturdivant, a high school junior at Friendship Edison Collegiate Academy in Washington, D.C.
The educational system in the United States is rapidly changing. No longer are low income Americans being forced to put their children in the many unsuccessful U.S. public schools because they cannot afford to put them in the seemingly enhanced private schools. Today, many public schools are being taken over by private companies and to me, this is a good thing. Students in privatized schools receive more attention than those in public schools and are allowed greater access to the business world, which in turn, will create leaders of America for the future.
I have had the opportunity to experience both the public and private side of education in my schooling years. For the past three years, I have attended a charter school in Washington, DC run by Edison Schools. I have already seen significant differences between my two experiences.
In many public schools, it is simply too easy to get lost in the crowd of students. However, at Friendship Edison, our student population is not so large so it is much harder to be just another number. Also, more attention is given to students personal needs to ensure a more healthy learning development process.
Unlike public schools, charter schools are more accountable in seeing that their students get a good education. It is more likely that since privatized schools are new, they will get more attention when their students are not performing well. In other words, privately run charter schools must meet achievement standards in order to maintain their contract with their school district. However, it seems to me that public school teachers can do basically whatever they want with no fear of being fired because of strong teachers' unions.
However, there is one potential disadvantage that I see in privately run charter schools. Although smaller classes may be good in high school, does it really prepare you for a higher education? For instance, if you go to a smaller school than what is normal in urban public education, it may be difficult for you to adapt to a large university. You may be forced to do things more independently, which may be such a tremendous change that will be very hard to adjust to and then you might just fall behind.
Overall, I think privately-run charter schools are a good idea. Students are given access to more tools such as technology and other opportunities to help enhance and support their educational career.
Also, another good aspect is that teachers are allowed to work more closely with their students. This type of teacher-student relationship allows each individual to be given the attention that they need. I think that this, in particular, makes a huge difference in the educational and social development of students.
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