Profiles in Education: The Smith Family and Charter Schools

Mr. and Mrs. Smith attended traditional public schools, but chose a different path when it came time to choose how to school their own children. The Smiths have a son and a daughter, both of whom were educated both through homeschooling and in private schools. Their daughter, however, decided she wanted something different for high school. 

Eager for a more traditional school experience with everything from prom to football games and a cap and gown at graduation. Fortunately, a new charter school was opening within walking distance. Although that school turned out not to be the right fit, it got the family interested in charter schools, and they found the right one for their family. 

The school the Smith family chose offered something that was ideal for their family- flexibility. Their daughter could take part in traditional classes or participate in a blend of home schooling and traditional classwork in what is called an Independent Learning Program (ILP). She was able to work through assignment packets at her own pace, but still had to meet certain deadlines. For some of her course requirements, she attended a local junior college and got a taste of college, too!

By having a child in a charter school, the Smiths got a first-hand look at some of the misconceptions dogging them. One is that charter schools are private schools. “The canard is the result of efforts by the education lobby (as powerful here as anywhere) convincing voters that the charter schools will somehow compete with public schools for resources.” They have also found that people don’t understand that charter schools are regulated and still must meet state standards. Charter schools offer an excellent education, which is a message school choice advocates must be committed to disseminating. 

Because of this great education, the Smith family would “absolutely” choose charter schools again.

“My daughter got the education of a lifetime. Best decision we ever made. She graduated from LSU and was well-prepared. She’s been working for three years now in Baton Rouge. Would not have been possible had it not been for Escondido Charter High School. She got the education and she got to march in her cap & gown, not only in high school but in college.”

That is a story that we all can support!