Charter or Magnet Schools: Education's Answer for the Future?
As more and more Missouri schools struggle to reach the mandated expectations of No Child Left Behind, some parents are becoming disillusioned with their local public school. However it is difficult to afford private school tuition and often for working parents, home schooling is not an option. A few urban public school districts in Missouri have found a possible compromise with the introduction of Charter or Magnet schools.
According to the Missouri Charter Public School Association, current access to the charter public school model is limited by law to the Kansas City and St. Louis city school districts. However current legislation (SB576) has been introduced that would expand the Charter school locations throughout the state, as well as increase the accountability. Each of these Charter schools must have a sponsoring entity which is often a college or university. A School Board is established and educational outcomes are outlined. In addition, the school must also be held accountable to Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education standards.
While Charter schools cannot be found in Southwest Missouri, one area public school district is establishing a STEAM Magnet School. Starting with the 2012-2013 school year, Nixa Public Schools will offer the John Thomas School of Discovery (JTSD) to elementary age students. As a STEAM Magnet school, it will operate under the following mission...
- The mission of John Thomas School of Discovery (JTSD) is to prepare students for life in our culturally-diverse, technology-oriented, interdependent world of the twenty-first century. To accomplish this mission, students will work together as explorers in all areas of knowledge with special concentration on the following:
- Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, & Math (STEAM)
- Exploring & Developing a Global Outlook
- Problem Solving Through Cooperation
- Nurturing Self-Esteem and Building Character
For fifth grade students in the Springfield Public School district the WOLF program might be a viable alternative. The WOLF school is based on the following mission...
- To achieve academic excellence through a rigorous core academic program, in the context of the outdoors and conservation science, which instills a sense of integrity and respect of the natural world.
For more information on Charter or Magnet schools, try the following books..
The good school : how smart parents get their kids the education they deserve by: Peg Tyre.
Expect miracles : charter schools and the politics of hope and despair by: Peter W. Cookson, Jr., and Kristina Berger.
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