Opportunity Over Conflict is Best Solution
Roseville, CA- To those holding the power, monopolies are a beautiful thing. Public schools have wielded that position with little incentive to change for a very long time. The times are a changin’, especially here in Placer County.
In South Placer County, upstart charter schools are riding a wave of popularity. For good or ill, the region is experiencing an exodus of students out of public schools into the much less regulated world of charter schools. The financial and political impact is taking a heavy toll in Rocklin & Roseville. With much of California school funding based on Average Daily Attendance, the basic math from thousands of students exiting public schools is a new and direct threat.
California, U.S lag behind
Parents and families are searching for solutions as America’s educational system created for an entirely different and conformist era lags behind much of the industrialized world. We’re no longer in the Top 20. According to many reports, California’s public schools rank among the worst in the nation.
Educators from the most highly ranked states of Massachusetts or New Jersey who now teach in California are often shocked at the local state of education and are required to regress their teaching to meet the students at their current levels. With an abundance of regulation and focus on test scores, it’s often a hard gap to bridge. Teachers carry an extraordinary burden and face enormous responsibilities and pressure from highly paid administrators in a top down approach. It’s not working.
For the short term, public schools appear to be on the offensive with PR blitzes, lobbying and lawsuits as they aim to shore up public support and stem financial losses. Charter schools have gone on the defensive in efforts to address concerns over regulation, oversight and transparency.
Competing to Educate our Children
The challenges are complex and the answers may not be simple ones, but change through competition is often beneficial. The results often manifest themselves through innovation, better services and knowledge acquisition to name a few.
Instead of the confrontational approach and scarcity mentality, public and charter schools in Placer County may recognize they sit at a unique opportunity in time. Shaking educational and dogmatic paradigms that don’t work is opportunity for an innovative and robust approach to education. Change never comes easy. With all the highly intelligent people in our community, Placer County can and should lead the way in preparing children for the 21st century. Our children deserve that much.