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Old 02-06-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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What is the difference between a charter school and a magnet school?
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Magnets are run totally through the local (county) public school system and are a regular part of the system. Charters on the other hand, receive public funding from the state and have their own board of directors, teaching and administrative staff. Because they receive public funding, they are accountable for maintaining the state education requirements which are usually measured in terms of standardized tests (EOG's here). They have their own curriculums, their own teachers, their own textbooks which differ from the local county schools. They just have to make sure their students are performing at the same level as public school students and they also have to have certain curriculum requirements that are the same as the rest of the state. For example, in middle school, all students have to have Health and Well Being and the state may mandate what that requires, but the charter school can develop their own curriculum for teaching it as long as they meet the state education requirements.
Clear as mud?

Here is the definition of a charter school from answers.com: A public school operated independently of the local school board, often with a curriculum and educational philosophy different from the other schools in the system.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:47 PM
 
51 posts, read 250,990 times
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wow now am getting confused. It was easier when I grew up either you went to public or private. This is worse then being at the grocery store on the snack isle

How do you get in a charter school? Do you have a lottery system? Does anyone have there kids there that can give me feel of how it works on a day to day basis? Curriculum ect...

remy
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:55 PM
 
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remy,

Charter schools, unlike magnets, have a TRUE lottery. Everyone throws their name into a hat, and they pull names out. Magnets have a WEIGHTED lottery -- there are criteria for acceptance outside of pure chance.

In a recent conversation, I heard that almost 1000 students applied for the 60 available kindergarten seats at Franklin Academy (charter in Wake Forest) -- a BIG part of the overwhelming number of applicants is the desire for some stability from the reassignment/mandatory-year-round* chaos which currently exists in the WCPSS.

* I know MYR is under appeal -- but right now they BoE/OGM IS STILL assigning kids to year-round schools, waiting for the appellate court's decision.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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My child is in a charter in Raleigh. It is a true lottery system in charter schools for open slots. They give precedence to siblings first and then the spots are open to the public. We did not get into the charter we wanted for 6th grade but kept our names on the waiting list for the next year and we did get in.
Alos, you need to be flexible with charter school seats and be willing to change schools when it's not "popular".
There was a huge waiting list for our charter in the 6th grade, but in the 7th grade, the list dwindled as kids and parents became comfortbale where they already were and didn't want to change schools in the 7th grade.
We were also accepted to another charter school with a huge list just days before public school started, so you just have to hang in there!
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:29 PM
 
51 posts, read 250,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamishra View Post
My child is in a charter in Raleigh. It is a true lottery system in charter schools for open slots. They give precedence to siblings first and then the spots are open to the public. We did not get into the charter we wanted for 6th grade but kept our names on the waiting list for the next year and we did get in.
Alos, you need to be flexible with charter school seats and be willing to change schools when it's not "popular".
There was a huge waiting list for our charter in the 6th grade, but in the 7th grade, the list dwindled as kids and parents became comfortbale where they already were and didn't want to change schools in the 7th grade.
We were also accepted to another charter school with a huge list just days before public school started, so you just have to hang in there!


What made you want to have your children in a charter school? Have tthey ever been in a tradional school? if so what was the difference?
Thanks
Remy
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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It would be great if the concept of vouchers ever got going. Then there would be the beginning of true choice, and competition... which is the key to improving all the schools. Vouchers would also relieve crowding and increase funding per student to public schools
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remy186 View Post
What made you want to have your children in a charter school? Have tthey ever been in a tradional school? if so what was the difference?
Thanks
Remy
For this particular child, I wanted a non-traditional education and a smaller, more initmate setting. She was in traditional public school through the 6th grade. I also adamantly wanted foreign language as part of her educational experience and we were not offered it in our county middle school. We tried to get into magnets where we could take advantage of foregn language programs but were denied a spot year after year, so I decided to go with a charter instead. I have another child in traditional public school and she is just fine there. We're very happy with it for her. I think it just depends on the needs of the child and what type of educational experience you want your children to have.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Virginia (again)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convergent View Post
It would be great if the concept of vouchers ever got going. Then there would be the beginning of true choice, and competition... which is the key to improving all the schools. Vouchers would also relieve crowding and increase funding per student to public schools
I'd love to give you points, but I have to spread them around first. Talk about making the Wake County Board of Education accountable. I cannot even imagine the mass exodus from the public schools to quality private schools where there is no fear of reassignment. Of course it will never happen, but we can always dream!
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
502 posts, read 1,654,099 times
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Originally Posted by sls76 View Post
I'd love to give you points, but I have to spread them around first. Talk about making the Wake County Board of Education accountable. I cannot even imagine the mass exodus from the public schools to quality private schools where there is no fear of reassignment. Of course it will never happen, but we can always dream!
I don't know that it will never happen. I think the problem is there a huge power base in the public education system and they don't want to give up control, and they don't want to be measured. We are in private schools in NY and are already enrolled in a private school for next year in Raleigh. Up here, the public school lobby publicly bashes the charter schools and tries to run them out of town. It is comical how arrogant they come across when they do this.

If you had a voucher system, it would really be better for all involved.

For the public school system:
- More money - yes, I said more money. If they spend approximately $10K per student which they collect in taxes, and they give you a voucher for $5K, then they still keep $5K but don't have to teach that student... add this up and they get more money per student... or maybe even are able to lower taxes!
- More managable program - the introduction of more private choices would slow the rate of growth of the public system and allow them to better serve the students.
- Competition is always good - even though its nearly entirely absent in education, the notion of competition is a good thing for everyone. Competition is what makes you better. If you are a athlete, do you get better by playing down, or playing up? You get better by playing up. The only problem is that it may be more work, and it may mean that some dead wood falls out of the process. But in the end, the public school will be better, and everyone involved will like it better.

For the private/charter schools -
- More funding - Some of the collected school taxes would make their way back to the private/charter schools. They actually get this money in the charter schools now, but not the privates. This would make private schools much more like charter schools in that they would not be free, but would be much less expensive than they are today. This should help fill these schools so that they don't have unused capacity.

For families -
- Affordable choice - Today, unless you are can win in one of the lotteries, you don't have any choice about where your kids go to school... unless you pay your own way. This current system favors the more wealthy families that can afford to pay for private school tuition. Many of the Christian schools have tuition levels that are much less than the public school system spends per student. There are many reasons for this, but bottom line is that its conceivable that some private schools would have the tution drop nearly to zero with a voucher program. With more potential customers due to the lower costs, there would be more private schools popping up to meet the demand, and there would be more specialized programs available to help families teach their children in the way that works best for them. Imagine the specialize programs that could come from this... not just religious, but things like technology, arts, etc.

I guess I've gotten off on a tangent, but I get so frustrated watching year after year while the public schools don't change and the solution always seems to be to throw more money at it. I think that overall the Triangle schools are pretty good, but they are for the most part a "one size fits all" approach, and kids aren't all the same.
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