Another reason to love charter schools: Their teachers actually show up for work

Like everyone else, educators must occasionally miss work. They and their kids get the flu, too. Yet we also know that teachers are the single most powerful instrument that schools have to boost student learning. When they miss school, their pupils miss out on education. Indeed, research suggests that a 10-day increase in teacher absenteeism [...]

Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools

Research confirms what common sense dictates: Students learn less when their teachers aren’t there. According to multiple studies, a ten-day increase in teacher absence results in at least ten fewer days of learning for students.   Clearly, some absences are unavoidable—teachers are only human. But compared to their counterparts in other industries and other countries, [...]

This Durham charter made a huge gain in student proficiency. How did it happen?

DURHAM - Hard work, dedication, prayer.   That’s how Jason Jowers, head of school at Global Scholars Academy, a Durham charter school, described the effort that netted a 17- percentage point gain on end-of-grade tests at the K-8 school on Dowd Street.   Global Scholars’ students increased the school’s proficiency score from 36 percent on [...]

Seven Principles for Teaching All Children to Read in a Global Society

In today’s globalized and connected world, reading is much more than recognizing and understanding words on a page or a screen. Reading is a complex activity that is fundamental to full participation in a democratic society and essential for lifelong opportunity and success. Like air, we need reading. We use it all the time.   [...]

How To Pick a Public Charter School

With all the school options our city offers, how should parents determine what will work best for their children? In addition to private schools, the District of Columbia offers two types of free public schools to its citizens. District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) is the default option for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. [...]

Alabama’s first public charter school opens, plotting its own course

School is back in session and Jeremiah Newell, principal of ACCEL Day and Evening Academy in Mobile, Ala., has been working 12-hour days. "It'll settle down after a while," Newell said in an interview.   ACCEL opened August 21 as Alabama's first public charter school, and its schedule has been jam-packed with class introductions, meetings, [...]

Should teachers take standardized tests? One charter school system thinks so.

Frustration with standardized tests often goes like this: What about the people — legislators, bureaucrats, educators — who make kids do them? Why don’t we force those adults to take the tests, too? Let’s see how they like it.   That’s been wishful thinking — until now. The co-founders of a successful charter school network [...]

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