After reading Diane Ravitch’s opinion piece on the state of public education in Los Angeles, I couldn’t help but be disheartened.
Here we are trying to find a superintendent that will help make all of the Los Angeles Unified School District better, and here she is suggesting that about 20 percent of our students, those who attend charter schools, shouldn’t be a part of that improvement or have their schools protected and supported.
I am a public school parent. My daughter attends a charter school in Glassell Park, Northeast Los Angeles. I chose to send my child there not because it is a charter, but because it has the features I wanted for my child: quality teachers, smaller classes, strong curriculum, and, most important, results. I could not be more pleased with the education my daughter is receiving. Parents like me just want the best possible education for their children and for many families that means charter schools.
Ravitch almost completely ignores parents in her piece, mentioning only the importance of family support when it comes to education. She leaves us out when talking about charter supporters, instead focusing only on the “billionaires” and “religious zealots.”
You know who else supports charters? Me.
And 100,000 or so parents like me who choose to send their children to these schools each year. And many, many others who simply believe we as parents should have the option to send our children where they will be best served.
Ravitch questions the value of having charter schools at all. I say you only need to look at my own child to see how she has grown while attending a charter school. She is excited about learning, gaining new skills and dreams about what college she will attend when she graduates from high school.
This growth has occurred because of the many talented people at my daughter’s school who work so hard every day to make sure she is learning what she needs to be successful. As a parent, I know that this school has made a difference with my child, as it does with the entire student body. For anyone who is questioning why charter schools should exist, they only need to look at the students who attend them.
I said before that I am a public school parent, because my child and all her classmates are public school students. People shouldn’t label our children or our families as traditional vs. charter. We certainly don’t see ourselves that way. We are more than just the type of school our children go to. We are all part of the same public school system that will hopefully allow every child to succeed. Like all parents, we are working to give the very best to our children, and we strongly believe in having the option to do just that.