Parents Are Enthusiastic About Charters
Competition for Rhode Island’s charter schools is fierce. Nine of the state’s 11 charter schools are so popular, they conduct lotteries each spring to fill the few dozen places each has available. Hundreds of students languish on wait lists with little hope of ever getting in.
What sets this article apart from most of the press coverage of charter schools is that it focuses on the families that hope to send their children to charters. The Providence Journal interviewed some of these parents, who discuss their children’s unique characteristics and explain why the charter schools they’re interested in would be a good fit.
Charter school critics have argued that much of the charters’ success can be attributed to the parents who are involved and making choices for their kids. What they overlook is that the more options there are, the more likely parents are to become involved and to make choices. Some parents will research schools even if they’re very difficult to get into, like the Rhode Island charter schools. But if their kids have a more realistic chance of admission, if there are more charter schools and more open spaces, many more parents will take the time to learn about the available schools. So, if you want engaged parents, give them choices.