Traditional & Charter Schools Can Cooperate
Traditional and charter schools can cooperate so as to improve our children’s education. One example is in the town of Lawrence MA where cooperation resulted in increased rates of graduation, and a reduction of school drop-outs. The relationship between traditional and charter school occurred after the Lawrence school district went into receivership because of extremely poor performance. This occurred five years ago when fewer than one-half of the students graduated from High School.
The receivership focussed on student achievement rather than internal bickering. Additional changes include:
- Collective bargaining was set aside, and the teachers agreed on a contract .
- The school district’s administrative expense was decreased. The savings paid for increased hours of school time for students.
- The teachers agreed to work extra hours for a stipend, making the longer school days possible.
- With extra resources, the teacher’s union agreed to use their expertise and to take over the most underperforming of the Lawrence schools.
- The administration focussed on supporting the school’s principals and teachers rather than stressing bureaucratic mandates.
- The charter schools gave up the lottery system and their charters. They agreed to serve all the children in the failing schools that they replaced. That is to say, the charters agreed to be part of the over-all system.
- Arts, sports and other enrichment programs are being added to the student’s daily lives in school.
- The administration has hired more local and hispanic teachers since 90% of the student population is Puerto Rican or from the Dominican Republic.
- Non-profits such as the Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA & YWCA and more agreed to offer after- school and summer programs. They cooperated with teachers so as to improve student performance and help students with homework and literacy.
Click here for the full article that provided this information on Lawrence’s Positive Example.