Often enough charter schools have been demonized in the public opinion for not promoting academic performances and for only “sucking” up funds from the government without actually obeying the rules and giving anything positive in return. However, many other people consider charter schools as the perfect educational system for those who do not fit in regular public schools or for those who are always on the move. There are also those who agree with charter schools in some extent but would want a different organization structure and more transparency for these institutions. No matter the point of view, one thing is clear – there are plenty of myths surrounding charter schools and their role in a striving academic performance system. Below you will find a list with the most common myths and exactly how things are in real life:
Myth #1 Charter schools are not public schools
In fact, charter schools are similar with public schools and they do get funding from national authorities, which makes them as public as possible. Similar to traditional public schools, charter schools are also open for all students, without costs. Charter schools are not based on religion and do not promote a certain sect or cult, nor do they discriminate on any grounds. Based on the number of enrolled pupils, charter schools receive a certain public funding, similar to the ones received in regular public schools. Last but not least, charter schools, although with slightly more freedom, still must respond to federal standards and laws, which means they are not above the laws.
Myth #2 Charter schools are profit companies
In fact, more than half of the total number of accredited charter schools in the US is nonprofits. However, charter schools may receive private funding in the form of donations or charities coming from for-profit companies or private persons, but so do public schools.
Myth #3 Charter schools are only serving wealthy families
Since tuition is free on all charter schools, just like in any other public school, wealthy families do not have priority when enrolling their offspring. In fact, charter schools serve numerous pupils from low-income households and less wealthy families.
Myth #4 Charter schools only select the brightest or wealthiest students
Charter public schools are open to any pupil enrolment, regardless of his or her economic status or academic performances. However, since there are no tuition fees paid, often enough charter public schools confront themselves with a higher number of applicants than the number of available seats in their units. In this chase, charter schools appeal to a simple lottery to determine who will get in, without any interviews, exams, admission hurdles or preferential treatments. In other words, public charter schools are open for everybody, regardless of their sex, nationality, academic status or monthly income.
Myth #5 Charter schools are not held responsible for their academic performances
Although charter public schools are not obliged to follow a strict academic curriculum, all children enrolled must take the same standardized tests as all other children, regardless whether they come from private or public educational institutions. Moreover, charter schools must reapply for their charter status every five years and in order to renown their license they must meet certain academic rigors.