Children Need Schools Not Business Centers

“We want community oriented charter schools, not schools turned into for profit business centers!” 

Parents and charter school advocates understand that family and community engagement are at the core of charter school’s success. Charter schools were birthed by parents and community members who wanted to see improved educational outcomes for children. This helped empower the school choice movement across America. I have recently noticed large corporations that seem to be taking over community oriented charters. These school districts see the financial benefits of Betsy Devos for profit school vision. These school districts are contracting large businesses and selling our public traditional schools to the highest bidder. This seems like our children are for sale and reflects the thought process which created the school to prison pipeline.

I’ve found that the school districts who have allowed businesses to acquire or take over failing schools still face huge issues. This also include school districts that allow state agencies to take over schools. Besides the noticeable issue of residing in poorly kept buildings they’ve acquired, this isn’t the biggest challenge. Charter schools have an even bigger challenge with the residents and stakeholders communities and schools they have acquired. That is why I advocate for community charter schools that have parents and stakeholders in all levels of leadership. In order for us to understand the importance of community  charters, we must first understand community engagement.

Why Community Charter Schools?

Schools across the Nation struggle with how to properly engage communities and families. “Stakeholder engagement has been a problem in schools for quite some time!” Researchers, policy makers and educators have been trying to wrap their brains around solutions to improve family and community engagement. Community charter schools are a solution. I believe schools that are built by parents, city and community leaders and that are led by profound educators created successful pathways for students to reach post graduation.

How Community Engagement Works

Community engagement is the process of working collaboratively with community groups to address issues that impact the well-being of those groups. Activities that help firms engage the community include credible and transparent reporting, town hall meetings and collaborative decision-making.

What Role Do Families Play In School Success?

Family engagement in schools is a shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage parents in meaningful ways, and the parents are committed to actively supporting their children’s and adolescents’ learning and development. I have not seen a success school that does not successfully engage families. Parents and guardians have to be involved in every step of our scholars academic success and equally engaged in the process of school improvement i.e. school board, fundraising, academic and social development.

Charter schools that Betsy Devos wants to see more of are not focused on building communities and schools. Their priority is business development by creating more business oriented, for profit schools. This is Betsy Devos vision for our children. If we’re going to continue to effectively reform education, we must begin the work in and with our communities. I believe that in order for us to continue the strides in education that we have seen, we need better partnerships with communities, schools and businesses; not schools operated by large businesses. Our children are not for profit! We need community charter schools, NOT for profit schools.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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