Education in America: Diversity Breeds Controversy

24 07 2007

by torytheeducator

There is controversy brewing in school. That’s not really shocking given the state of today’s education system. However, this story and the commentary that follows will undoubtedly stir debate for seemingly absurd reasons. First, let’s start with what is going on. There is a new charter school opening in the North Sacramento area. This is nothing new, as more and more charter schools are opening in order to circumvent the standards set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2002-which was renewed with very little fanfare earlier this year.

For those who are unclear, a charter school is one set up within the regular public school system. Their entire being is based on a charter, or mission statement, that each person and student at the school strive to achieve. Anyone is free to attend the school, however, it is highly competitive. Teachers are not subject to the district or state standards. Some see it as a step in the right direction, while others see it as a polarizing ideal within communities.

At the same time, a new charter school is opening later this year in Sacramento, which specializes instruction in Madarin Chinese and Spanish, as well as instruction in English. This is due to the fact that there are a large amount of minorities who speak these languages living in the area. It looks like a really good idea, and apparently everyone, including the school board, is for it. However, there is another charter school opening later this year in the same area. This one will serve as a visual and performing arts school. The school board approved both of these schools, as each serves to specific and different needs. Yet, the controversy lies in where the schools will be located, not what they teach.

The district has proposed that both schools occupy the land where an older elementary resides. Basically, the schools are arguing over which school will be housed in the unoccupied building and which will stay in portable buildings. It seems that there may be important issues here, namely getting these schools open on time, than which buildings they occupy. Since this has become such an issue the school board fired the superintendent, causing a major rift between the members.

No matter what the school board decides, there will always be a stigma attached to these to charter schools, which is sad in itself. Once again, the powers that be have managed to stir controversy where none was present. The only thing that can be said is both these schools are wonderful ideas and should be modeled after in the very near future. Yet, politicians and parents alike have done their best to foul up a perfect coexistence. One can only hope that there will be a future, one where schools can share resources and students can receive the instruction they need and deserve. One can only hope.

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One response

30 07 2007
Manuel Rios

I enjoyed your insight on the “Diversity Breeds Controversy” blog. It was to the point and very clear. Although I believe that the two parties want the best site and are pleading their case in order to explain why they feel the desired site is best suited for their school, it should not come at the expense of the actual students. Nice piece.

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