But while everyone agrees they want the best for our children, the issue of how public schools can provide the best education is being hotly contested.
Here in New York, newspaper headlines refer to the “Charter Wars.” Charter schools receive public money but they are privately managed. At public hearings, lawmakers and parents of regular public school students criticize charters for not taking a fair share of students with special needs. The teachers union wants to ban for-profit management companies from running charters. But charter school operators, and the families who send their children to charters, argue that they provide successful alternatives within the public school system as measured by higher test scores.
WNYC will assemble delegations of students, parents and teachers from two pairs of regular public and charter schools: Future Leaders Institute Charter and PS 242, which share the same building in Harlem; and South Bronx Classical Charter and I.S. 217, School of Performing Arts, which share a building in the Bronx.
The event will be moderated by WNYC Senior Reporter Beth Fertig, who covers education, and WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal, who covers the city broadly as a general assignment reporter.
The forum will cover a wide range of topics including, but not limited to:
- Differences in curriculum and discipline in charters and regular schools
- Parent satisfaction
- The role of the lottery system for admitting students to charter schools
- Policy questions, including how to ensure charters take a fair share of students with disabilities and children who don’t speak English
- How to measure teacher effectiveness and whether using non-unionized teachers is an advantage for charters
Watch the video from the event below