After reading “Measuring Diversity in Charter School Offerings” by Michael Q. McShane and Jenn Hatfield, my understanding of charter schools has been broadened and solidified. Before reading this report, I knew what a charter school was – a school that is run independently, yet is still funded by the state. However, I now understand just why it is so important for them to run independently and why non-traditional schooling is relevant and necessary.
In sum, the report clarifies the types of charter schools and explores the demographics of over 1,000 charter schools across 17 cities. Among these charter schools, there are “specialized schools,” which I believe are the most important. Throughout these cities, there are different types of charter schools, some “specialized” and some more traditional, and this is sometimes a result of the cities’ demographics. For example, McShane and Hatfield explain that in general, there is a higher enrollment in “no-excuse schools” (schools that are very strict with student’s behavior and attendance) when there is a high percentage of black residents in the city. There are many theories about why this is, but I have my own theories as well.
Firstly, I agree with the idea in their report that “academic achievement is often the primary concern for low-income communities,” and for that reason there are many more “no-excuse” schools. However, I also believe that in poorer areas, students have many more burdens than students who live in wealthy areas. Sometimes they may be afraid to leave the house or go to school, and thus, hybrid/online learning may be necessary. Also, international/foreign language schools may help students of immigrant families feel more at home. And lastly, art schools are most important to me. Art schools are the perfect outlet for a student to express their emotions, in a