Course Work Example on Charter Schools in Maine

3 pages
559 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Course work
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Who controls American Education?

The federal government does not control or operate public schools. All states have their own Department of Education, which sets guidelines for education in every state. However, much of the control lies in the hands of local school district, which is governed by the board. The School board is a committee of people appointed by the local government or elected by the local community. The board ensures the state guidelines of education are met and set general policies for the school district.

Who decides what knowledge is of most worth to teach students?

Each state decides what knowledge is of most worth to teach students. The State Department of Education holds central authority in crafting and deciding what to teach students, supported by the federal policies.

Do you think that public schools should let parents decide what should be taught to their children?

In my opinion, letting parents decide what should be taught to their children is important. Parents play a critical part in educational process of their children and more than anyone else, they have a sincere interest in their childrens education. Therefore, it is important to value their input especially in curricular decisions. Both parents and school administrators should work together so that they maintain a beneficial balance and a right to decide what should be taught to their children.

Charter Schools in Maine

Charter schools are alternative traditional public schools, which students can decide to attend. These schools are publicly funded and have more flexibility than traditional public schools due to decisions concerning staffing and finance, scheduling, and curriculum and instructions. Maine became the 41st state to allow public charter schools in June 29, 2011. Today, there are seven charter schools in Maine that are currently operational. Students in Maine have a right to attend any charter school as long as the school has sufficient space and it serves his/her grade levels. Charter schools in Maine are obligated to accept any Maine resident student unless a given grade level or the school has reached its enrollment capacity. Under Maines Charter school law, all Maine charter schools should have a local school board and a seven-member Maine Charter School Commission. The major benefit of charter schools in Maine is to provide an affordable alternative for students whose traditional public schools are not operational. Beside, charter schools continue to push traditional public schools to perform better to enable them not lose students to charter schools.

The Department of Education in Maine created rules on the implementation of the charter school law. The State Board of Education has also developed the Maine Charter School Commission that comprises three members of the State Board and other four members nominated by the State Board. The Charter School Commission is allowed by law to authorize a maximum of ten charter schools in a ten year time. The boards in local schools are also allowed by law to authorize more charter schools within the boundaries of school administrative units. The Charter School Commission can also vote to reject or authorize a proposed charter school based on a review of its financing, staff and student policies, governance structure, academic programs and its mission. The Charter School Commission also has a duty to monitor school performance in Maine and decide whether to revoke or renew the charter after a given period.


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