Letter: The benefits of charter schools
I would like to respond to Dwayne Strand's statement, reported in the West Central Tribune on Oct. 23, concerning educational setting and curriculum that doesn't differ from the existing school system. I believe that the charter schools within th...
I would like to respond to Dwayne Strand's statement, reported in the West Central Tribune on Oct. 23, concerning educational setting and curriculum that doesn't differ from the existing school system. I believe that the charter schools within the YME district are considerably different in many ways.
The first difference is that both charter schools use Saxon math and the core knowledge curriculum as the basis for content. No other school in the area offers this approach to pursue academic excellence. They provide the rigor of a classical education and our students have shown excellent academic growth as measured by NWEA MAP assessments.
Secondly, our charter schools offer small class sizes where each student receives more individual attention. At ECHO we are also quick to provide paraprofessionals to assist students who need them and still our cost per student remains below the state average. This allows us to provide each student with the level of math studied matched to their ability, so they are not allowed to coast through a class that is too easy nor be over their heads in math content well beyond their ability to understand.
Thirdly, we are a school of choice and students and parents select our school because they feel it will be a better fit than any other school available. If this choice should turn out to not meet their expectations, they are encouraged to search out another option. There are several very good schools in our area and none of us can claim to have the perfect setting for every student. In numerous cases we have had students that did not fit well in other schools become very comfortable here and their academic progress has been exceptional.
Many parents have expressed their joy in seeing their student turn the corner and develop a whole new attitude toward themselves and their view of education. For this we and they are most grateful and this demonstrates a real need for families to have our charter school as a choice in education options.
Larry Schueler, Lead Teacher
ECHO Charter School