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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:04 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
7,083 posts, read 9,571,027 times
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There were some concerns by members of the BOE that the whole county wouldn't be considered in the selection process for the school. My question is, who is going to transport kids from Accokeek or Waldorf if they are selected? How well would that kid perform if it takes them 45 minutes to get to school and then they get home at 6 or 7pm because no school bus will take them that far and they have to wait until their parents get off work to travel another 35-40 minutes back home? I understand there are few charter schools in the county, but come on.

Quote:
College Park Academy, which has ties to the University of Maryland, is scheduled to open in August and intends to offer classes for 291 sixth- and seventh-graders. The school eventually plans to provide classes for middle and high school students and offer college-credit opportunities.

“I am going to support this but I am deeply concerned with the demographic data,” said school board member Donna Hathaway Beck (District 9), who said few students from the southern part of the county will attend the new school.
And instead of trying to get in the way of a promising educational institution by crying foul, how about fixing your own inadequacies in the public school system so parents won't HAVE to choose other alternatives? Take away the reasons to leave the public school system. In other words, mind your own.

Quote:
Almost 35 percent of the students who will attend College Park Academy do not currently attend the county’s public school system. Hathaway Beck said that number is too high.

“I know it is our desire to lure back” children who have left the school system, she said. “We want children returning to us . . . [but] we have students that have been with us all this time and are not duly represented.”
Read more: Prince George’s approves charter school contract - The Washington Post
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:39 AM
 
Location: DMV
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Waldorf is not in PG.

They need to build some charter schools in the southern part, to help the southern county population if they want to continue to provide this option, especially considering how bad the schools are in southern PG these days. With that said, the county has always had an issue with being northern county bias.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:47 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,566,069 times
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Originally Posted by adelphi_sky View Post
There were some concerns by members of the BOE that the whole county wouldn't be considered in the selection process for the school. My question is, who is going to transport kids from Accokeek or Waldorf if they are selected? How well would that kid perform if it takes them 45 minutes to get to school and then they get home at 6 or 7pm because no school bus will take them that far and they have to wait until their parents get off work to travel another 35-40 minutes back home? I understand there are few charter schools in the county, but come on.

And instead of trying to get in the way of a promising educational institution by crying foul, how about fixing your own inadequacies in the public school system so parents won't HAVE to choose other alternatives? Take away the reasons to leave the public school system. In other words, mind your own.

Read more: Prince George’s approves charter school contract - The Washington Post
Although it would be a hike its no different then kids going to private schools. There are several kids that I know of that have to commute from Fort Washington to St. Albans in DC or Landon in Bethesda. As has been discussed on this board before, parents will go to great lengths to educate their children (especially when its free and from a qualified provider).
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:51 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,566,069 times
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Originally Posted by pgtvatitans View Post
Waldorf is not in PG.

They need to build some charter schools in the southern part, to help the southern county population if they want to continue to provide this option, especially considering how bad the schools are in southern PG these days. With that said, the county has always had an issue with being northern county bias.
They do need some now but they have had some in the past. The problem with any charter school is that you need an operator with a sustainable model and the money to maintain the schools. That hasn't been the case in southern PG and the board has not been receptive to charters as DC and Bmore have been. Given the trends in NOVA and Montgomery county, that will change over the next few years.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:16 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
7,083 posts, read 9,571,027 times
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Originally Posted by UrbanScholar View Post
Although it would be a hike its no different then kids going to private schools. There are several kids that I know of that have to commute from Fort Washington to St. Albans in DC or Landon in Bethesda. As has been discussed on this board before, parents will go to great lengths to educate their children (especially when its free and from a qualified provider).
I agree. That reminds me of the commuter who travels 3 hours one way "for her children" in Hagerstown.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:40 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 4,435,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adelphi_sky View Post
And instead of trying to get in the way of a promising educational institution by crying foul, how about fixing your own inadequacies in the public school system so parents won't HAVE to choose other alternatives? Take away the reasons to leave the public school system. In other words, mind your own.
Yes. They need to expand what works. Specialized programs have lotteries where only a small amount of children are selected. But their siblings get to join them in many if not most of these programs without having to go through the lottery themselves. I have nothing against that, but the solution would be to definitely expand the successful programs. Of course, the regular schools need improving, but there's nothing wrong with having more choices.

Also, I find it interesting that Beck is complaining about more than a third of the students returning from private school. Another solution would be to push for a version of this school in the South County area. It's too bad that South County often gets the short end of the stick.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:47 AM
 
Location: It's in the name!
7,083 posts, read 9,571,027 times
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Originally Posted by bowian View Post
Yes. They need to expand what works. Specialized programs have lotteries where only a small amount of children are selected. But their siblings get to join them in many if not most of these programs without having to go through the lottery themselves. I have nothing against that, but the solution would be to definitely expand the successful programs. Of course, the regular schools need improving, but there's nothing wrong with having more choices.

Also, I find it interesting that Beck is complaining about more than a third of the students returning from private school. Another solution would be to push for a version of this school in the South County area. It's too bad that South County often gets the short end of the stick.

I imagine if this charter school becomes successful that UMD could replicate it in other areas of the county or perhaps even a few in Baltimore as UMD is not really a PGC institution but a state one and shouldn't be limited to the county. But if there is resistence to these types of endeavors in the county because the school board wants students in its public schools, it could stifle charter school growth. After all, a proliferation of charter schools makes the public schools look bad which doesn't help matters. Look at DC's student population decline. Hopefully by then the public schools would be on the upswing.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:53 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 4,435,411 times
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Originally Posted by adelphi_sky View Post
After all, a proliferation of charter schools makes the public schools look bad which doesn't help matters. Look at DC's student population decline. Hopefully by then the public schools would be on the upswing.
But in PG, most of the charter schools aren't doing better than the public schools. Therefore the public schools only look partially bad right now.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:23 AM
 
2,429 posts, read 3,566,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adelphi_sky View Post
I imagine if this charter school becomes successful that UMD could replicate it in other areas of the county or perhaps even a few in Baltimore as UMD is not really a PGC institution but a state one and shouldn't be limited to the county. But if there is resistance to these types of endeavors in the county because the school board wants students in its public schools, it could stifle charter school growth. After all, a proliferation of charter schools makes the public schools look bad which doesn't help matters. Look at DC's student population decline. Hopefully by then the public schools would be on the upswing.
Although (from what I have observed) PG BOE hasn't been in favor of charters, I think they would be hard press to deny any future applications since UMD has such a formidable presence in the county. My guess is that it would be political suicide. Especially since they don't have an alternative that is better (one of the reasons it took so long for Montgomery to consider charters).
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:20 AM
 
Location: City of Hyattsville, MD
195 posts, read 473,586 times
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Originally Posted by UrbanScholar View Post
Although (from what I have observed) PG BOE hasn't been in favor of charters, I think they would be hard press to deny any future applications since UMD has such a formidable presence in the county. My guess is that it would be political suicide. Especially since they don't have an alternative that is better (one of the reasons it took so long for Montgomery to consider charters).
It's not that the Prince George's BOE is opposed to charters but that Maryland's laws governing charters aren't as appealing to those who set up a lot of charters in other jurisdictions. For example, Maryland only allows public charters; they have to meet the same standards as non-charter public schools; they have to answer to the local school board; employees have access to the same collective bargaining rights as non-charter public schools; and they have to offer something different from non-charter public schools.

Outside of Baltimore City, there are only a handful in the state and Prince George's (now with eight charter schools) has more than any other county.

As for the idea of College Park Academy replicating itself throughout the county, the school is a joint venture between UMD and the City of College Park. Unless south- or central-county municipality wants to participate in sponsoring and governing the charter school, the model is unlikely to spread.
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