In case you are not familiar with the definition of a charter school, the following information might be helpful:
Charter schools are independent public schools with rigorous curriculum programs and unique educational approaches. In exchange for operational freedom and flexibility, charter schools are subject to higher levels of accountability than traditional public schools. Charter schools, which are tuition-free and open to all students, offer quality and choice in the public education system. (California Charter Schools Association Website)
Starting with such a description may seem weird for some of the readers of these lines. No matter how clear and concise the definition, there are still individuals who act as if they were unaware of the explanation above.
Charter schools improve pupil learning, increase learning opportunities, and encourage the use of different and innovative teaching methods by providing parents and pupils with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system.
Benefits of this school choice include, but are not limited to, providing vigorous competition within the public school system to stimulate continual improvements in all public, creating new professional opportunities for teachers, and so on.
Alas! Who cares? Some interest groups keep ignoring these benefits which contribute to not only underserved communities but also overall quality of public education system throughout the nation. The words I have underlined above in the beginning address the majority of their concerns, yet sadly enough, ideologies are intended to substitute facts at times.
I believe, what Magnolia Public Schools face these days is no different. It seems some folks around the Web have launched a defamation campaign based on the perceived fears of their target audience. They claim that Turkish-Americans are spreading “Islamic fundamentalism” via charter schools they have established, or that these schools simply serve as Trojan horses. Coming up with a mysterious term such as Gulen charter schools, they plan to create a buzz around the web to create some confusion among the parents and decision makers.
However, they miss a critical point charter schools are held accountable for meeting measurable student performance, and are under strict supervision by local and state authorities. Would these institutions that regularly oversee these schools, not be aware of any such wrongdoing, if any, that these bloggers discovered? Of course not!
Liars anticipating to manipulate the public opinion will soon fade, and lies being tossed around the Internet will not add up to a single piece of truth. Out of 4911 charter schools serving some 1.6 million students nationwide, 912 serve a diverse student body of more than 365,000 students in California. Magnolia joins the effort with its nationally recognized success and reputation. Just one example of the success out of many to give you an idea: Based on the Advanced Placement (AP) Test results of graduates, Magnolia Science Academy got silver level in the nation.
For that reason, my final words go to the dedicated staff and administrators who work around the clock to help our kids discover their potential within and flourish: Do not be distracted with various vicious attempts to label you as outlaws, Gulen charter schools, or whatever. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
More on this topic will follow…
- These are not Gulen charter schools, these are OUR charter schools (parents4magnolia.org)
- The benefits of charter schools (parents4magnolia.org)
- Gulen charter schools argument looks like an allegation (parents4magnolia.org)