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Listening to families as we rebuild public education post-COVID – New York Daily News

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, the Montgomery Bus Boycott occurred when young Rosa Parks famously refused to give up her seat on the “whites-only” section of a public bus. Nearly 40 years later, the woman then recognized as the “First Lady of Civil Rights” launched a new campaign for equality. She joined the effort to open her one of Detroit’s first charter schools. Although the school ultimately did not open, it testifies to Parks’ view that “without education there is no future,” Parks’ consultants, who assisted her in her charter proposal for her school, He said: They are not tied to where they live or how much money they make. ”

Today, New York City parents come to the same conclusion that Parks reached. That is, children needed educational options. As revealed last week, between 2020 and 2022, enrollment in New York’s traditional public schools fell 8.3%, while the number of charter schools increased her 6.9%. Nationwide, in the 2020-2021 school year, the family pulled more than 1 million of her children out of public schools and enrolled nearly 240,000 new students in charter schools. slot. Nationwide, the waiting list for charters exceeds 1 million.

Homeschooling has also surged. In March 2021, the Census Bureau concluded that the number of households homeschooling their children has doubled from her previous year. The proportion of African American homeschooled households is now five times higher than her overall, at 16.1%. Hispanics nearly doubled. The share of Asian households increased by about 75%.

The pandemic may have given many of these families a boost, but recent data suggests that ambitious parents are looking for alternatives to public school and have good reasons to stay in school after the pandemic is over. Confirming.

This data comes from the Classical Learning Test (CLT), an online standardized college admissions test created by me and others in the liberal arts tradition. While the SAT and ACT are mostly popular as core alignment achievement tests, the CLT is a comprehensive assessment of how comprehensive your child’s education has been. In other words, it is a broad measure of the child’s learning quality and aptitude to date.

The results are grim and are reported here for the first time. The average score for public school students is 65.85 out of 120. For charter school students he is 73.58 and for homeschooled students he is 77.95, a considerable spread compared to public schools.

A recent study by the National Center for Educational Access and Choice Research that examined school districts with charter schools confirmed data from the Classical Learning Test on basic educational quality in different types of schools. On average, charter school students perform better in reading and math and have higher graduation rates.

This suggests that other options such as charter school education and homeschooling are possible solutions to the declining enrollment in public education. By setting higher standards and creating competition to attract students, public schools are or should be creating incentives to examine and improve themselves and their results.

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But at this very moment there is a move in Washington to ban the doors to alternative education. With new regulations, the U.S. Department of Education is proposing to impose obstacles to the expansion of charter schools, as many states, especially California, have already done.

Instead of setting limits on charter schools, we should ask ourselves: Why do parents send their children to charter schools in the first place, and why do so many families drop out of public schools?

As parents across the country seek alternatives to public education, we should ask them for lessons on how to make public schools better, rather than making charter life harder. In other words, we should look at what attracts families and students to charter schools rather than burdening them.

Traditional public schools need to provide their students with great tools. Strong local competition gives public schools an incentive to improve teaching methods. For example, we emphasize tradition-based classical education and the development of critical thinking, enhancing students’ ability to think and grow as individuals.

As Rosa Parks did, all those who care for their children should embrace their school choices rather than fight them and ensure that public institutions continue the tradition of good public schools for all. We need to encourage them to analyze, reform, and help them recover.

As she said, “Without education there is no future.” real education.

Tate is the founder and CEO of Classic Learning Test.