One of the valuable things about public charter schools is their ability to innovate. With the flexibility they are given, public charter schools are able to explore new teaching methods or customize curriculum to help students succeed. As charter schools develop these best practices, they should be shared with the traditional public schools so that all students benefit.
Over the past several years, we’ve seen increased collaboration between public charter schools and traditional public schools that empowers teachers, parents, students, and communities. Collaboration can take shape in many forms, such as joint professional development opportunities for teachers and school leaders or shared purchasing agreements. But in recent years, these efforts have been more formalized, with leaders joining together to provide parents with more educational choices and improve all public schools. Here are a few examples:
- In Houston, district-charter partnerships have led to student gains. YES Prep Public Charter Schools have partnered with the Houston and Aldine school districts to share tools for professional development and the Apollo 20 initiative integrates best practices tied to student achievement.
- Several districts have established universal enrollment systems and common applications to make navigating educational options in the community easier for parents.
- Newark is developing its universal enrollment program as part of the district superintendent's One Newark initiative.
- Washington, D.C. public charter schools and traditional charter schools are partnering to simplify the school enrollment process for parents, and both have collaborated to help families navigate school choice options through the D.C. Education Festival
- In Central Falls, RI, teachers from The Learning Community charter school trained district teachers on their highly-effective reading program to raise achievement for all students in the community.
These communities are leading the way toward a better public education system that serves the needs of all students. By working together, public charter schools and district schools can help raise the bar in our nation’s schools.
This blog is the third in a series called “5 Reasons Public Charter Schools are Great” to celebrate School Choice Week. To read the other posts in the series, visit The Charter Blog here.
Gina Mahony is senior vice president for government affairs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.