Providing all children with a high-quality education should be a high priority. The success of each individual and the success of our society as a whole depends on it. Therefore, striving to improve the educational system should be everyone's concern.
One aspect of education that is causing me a great deal of concern is the increase in the number of charter schools in both the Pittsburgh area and throughout the country. I do recognize that many charter schools are enjoying much student success. It would be smart to examine what is causing that success and to implement those ideas and techniques throughout the public school system.
At the same time, I believe that it's important to consider the toll that creating charter schools is taking on other students and on taxpayers. Charter schools are public schools; they are not permitted to charge tuition. So, public money is being spent in an attempt to provide a better education to select students.
Wouldn't it make more sense to keep both the students and the money in already established public schools and to focus on making education better for all students? I say let all children benefit from innovative ideas, great educators, diverse course offerings and plentiful resources. The educational community needs to work together with the government to effect positive changes that will benefit every student. A few people sidestepping the system is not good enough. It's time for the system to move forward as a united front.
The writer is a K-6 general music teacher in the Ellwood City Area School District.