Lifting charter school cap will open opportunities

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Lifting charter school cap will open opportunities

Mehul Shrivastava, News Editor

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As Election Day gets closer, Americans have to not only consider who they want to vote for but also how they want to answer the ballot questions they will be presented with, which will vary according to the state.

One of the more well-known questions for Massachusetts right now concerns the further funding and expansion of charter schools. If implemented, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education would approve twelve new charter schools or enrollment expansions in existing schools in the state per year.

Charter schools were created as another possibility for educational services that get provided with funds by the state, but run independently of the rest of the public school system.

According to an interview on NPR, mainly in urban areas, such as Lowell or Boston, public schools are not very successful. In these areas, charter schools have given students a chance to have a more focused education that would help them be much more academically successful, rather than going to their traditional public school. As a result, more students attend charter schools in urban districts.

There are also more directed education plans for students who enter with low test scores, have special needs or are English language learners. According to an editorial by Metrowest Daily News, charter school students have also displayed higher scores on the MCAS as well as the SATs, taken more Advanced Placement (AP) classes, and have a higher chance of getting into a four year college.

As Westford residents, many would think that if there are schools like Westford Academy, why is there any need for charter school education? This is a valid point, seeing that WA manages to be one of the top high schools in the state every time. For example, in a ranking conducted by Niche showing the top 100 high schools in Massachusetts, and Westford Academy made it to number 12.

However, Westford is not the kind of town the charter school movement is looking to help. Charter schools are much more attended in the urban areas of the state where traditional public high schools do not make the top high schools in the country the way WA does.

If charter schools are supported for expansion in the upcoming election, it will allow for more options for students on where they want to go to school. In urban areas, students will be able to access a more effective alternative for their education. Therefore, if the charter school movement is approved, it will be for the benefit of all students, instead of ruling out those who do not have the best public school education options.