April 10, 2013
Once children have graduated from diapers and baby food, the next big decision for parents becomes where to send their precious tots to school. There are many choices available to parents today, from the neighborhood school down the street to charter and private schools
in the area. How does a parent know which school will be the best fit for his child? The choice is never easy, but it helps to weigh the pros and cons of each of these types of schools to see which might present the greatest benefit.
Of course, one of the first variables parents must weigh when comparing the various types of schools is cost. Public schools are “free” institutions by law, although they may charge fees and students may be required to provide their own supplies. Charter schools
are also considered public schools, so there is no tuition cost assessed. However, private schools can – and do – charge tuition to students and their parents, and in some cases, those costs can be rather high.
According to a report at Fox News
, the average tuition cost for private secondary schools during the 2007-2008 school year was around $10,500. Great Schools
also cites statistics from the National Catholic Education Association that show while private parochial schools tend to charge lower tuition rates, the average tuition for these schools is still around $2,600 for elementary schools and nearly $7,000 for secondary schools.
Public schools are required to accept all students within that district, without...read more
March 05, 2013
The governance of public schools is a rather complex issue that incorporates various government entities at the federal, state and local levels. In theory, these various levels should create a tapestry that addresses the needs of students at the most local level without sacrificing education quality across the country. While the model doesn’t always work as planned, the system of checks and balances does provide a mostly workable national education system that crosses state and district lines. Learn more about the basics of public school governance
in the United States today.
The federal government is responsible for four basic functions in public education today, according to the U.S. Department of Education
website. Those four functions include:
· Policies related to Education Funding
– These policies can promote certain education reform, by offering additional funding to states and districts that choose to abide by federal standards. EdSource
explains that the current administration is attempting to do just that, by offering competitive grants through the Race to the Top program. States that fall in line with Race to the Top
standards and recommendations stand to receive additional funding from Uncle Sam.
· Collection of Data and Research – This information is used to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the current state of public education today. By identifying weaknesses in public education, states can draft new policies to close the gaps and improve education quality overall.
· Identification of Problems in Education at the National Level – By shining the...read more
February 18, 2013
Students in the public school system in the United States are eligible for a variety of services, depending on their needs. Under Title I, students in need are provided with additional assistance to promote their success in school and beyond. Title I funding is provided to more than 90 percent of the school systems across the country, with the money used in a variety of ways to help low-income students
break the cycle of poverty with the tools they need for academic success.
What is Title I?
Title I is one of the oldest public education programs in the United States, as well as one of the largest. The program provides additional funding to school districts with a large population of low-income students to help students in this demographic meet the academic standards assigned by the state. The program was established as the Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, and its purpose is to “ensure that all children have a fair, equal and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education,” according to the U.S. Department of Education website
The Department of Education also lists strategies that should be implemented by local school districts to achieve that purpose with the provided funding, which include:
- Meeting the educational needs of low-income and minority students
- Holding schools and governments accountable for academic achievement of students
- Use of tools, assessments and instruction that are aligned with state standards
- Closing the achievement gap between high and low-performing children
- Providing professional development for staff that...
February 10, 2013
Public education in the United States
has evolved into a complex maze of options designed to address a wide range of student needs and learning styles. However, the multitude of choices can also make it challenging for parents to weed through and understand the various options available to them and their children. To help break it down, check out this list of some of the more common options in public schooling today.
The traditional community school continues to be the most common type of institution of public education today. Public schools in a district are typically zones, so those living in the community know which school they are assigned. Neighborhood schools allow students the opportunity to make friends with classmates right in their area. In some districts, parents are allowed to enroll their children in a school outside their immediate neighborhood, if the chosen school is closer to the parent’s workplace or the parent simply wants his child to attend a different school.
began to make an appearance in the 1990s, and their presence has consistently grown in all but 10 states across the country. Education Bug
lists the states without current charter laws as Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, South Dakota, Washington, Vermont, West Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, and North Dakota. Charter schools are public schools, but parents choose to send their children to a charter school, rather than simply attend based on district zoning.
Like other schools, charters receive money from taxes, but they also raise...read more
February 05, 2013
Choosing a public school for your child
is a much more complex task today. With many more options available than the neighborhood school down the street, parents often feel overwhelmed with the task of determining the specific needs of their child and researching the schools to find the best fit for those needs. There are a number of factors to weigh when choosing a school, and many of the most important features are listed below.
District Zones and Your Neighborhood School
For many families, the best choice in schooling may be the neighborhood school down the street. Students are typically assigned to a specific elementary school by district zoning, which divides up the district using a precise formula that allows for the most even allotment of students at each school. However, the problem with choosing a school strictly according to zoning is that boundaries can change over the course of a child’s academic career, according to School Wise Press
. One school may see significant growth that results in overcrowding, initiating a zoning change. Other schools may see enrollment drops that require either rezoning school boundaries or closing and consolidating schools
Parents that are concerned about possible zoning changes during their child’s academic career may want to inquire about open enrollment policies
. Some districts may allow families to open enroll students at the school they have been attending in the event of a boundary change to ensure students enjoy continuity in their schooling. However, keep in mind that other...
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May 14, 2013
As graduation draws near, high school graduates are turning their sights to the next phase of their academic career. We provide some tips to help them choose the best college for now and for the future.
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