Charter Schools are legally and financially autonomous public schools. These schools are considered to be schools of choice, allowing parents to venture past their zip code for a school that best meets the needs of their child. The Florida Charter School Alliance is an advocacy and support organization for these charter schools in Florida, providing a voice for the Charter School Movement in the state capitol.
In episode 2 of Charter School Superstars, as well as episode 24 of Teach the Way they Learn, Lynn Norman Teck, Executive Director for the Florida Charter School Alliance, discusses their mission and advocacy efforts in order to support charter schools. This organization is an advocacy and support organization for charter schools, assisting in hiring staff, meeting accountability measures, among several other efforts. The Florida Charter School Alliance is an organization that is active on both state, and local levels, fighting for charter school students and teachers. By providing a voice for charter schools in the capitol, lawmakers are being educated on what charter schools are, what they do, how much they have grown, and why federal funding needs to follow each student. These efforts are empowering students, teachers, parents, and legislators as well.
In both of these episodes, Ms. Teck discusses several misconceptions that are brought up by critics, and why the information is misconstrued. Some examples of the myths that are presented are:
“Charter Schools are not Public Schools.”
“Teachers are not certified or licensed.”
“There is a secret pool of money that charter schools steal from traditional public schools.”
Ms. Teck addresses these myths and assures that these are all, in fact, completely false. Charter Schools are part of the healthy education system in Florida, allowing parents to provide their child with an education despite where they live, or how much money is in their bank account. These schools serve communities where families are underserved, and are leading the fight for children to get the best quality education, despite their living status.
Charter schools were first seen in Florida over 20 years ago, with only 5 schools in the state. Over the past 20 years, the Charter School Movement has evolved, completely parent driven by the effort of finding the best education for their children. In episode 2 of Charter School Superstars, Ms. Teck states “Pandora’s box of education reform has opened”, and believes that it will only continue to grow.
While parents are searching for the perfect schools for their children, it is important to understand that each individual will have their own strengths, talents and skills. Students should feel comfortable enough to thrive and succeed in their environment. If the child is happy where they are learning, the rest shall fall into place. Parents are able to “shop around”, and decide what is best for their child, thus enabling the beauty of school choice.
If you would like to learn more about Lynn Norman Teck and her advocacy work at the Florida Charter School Alliance, visit flcharteralliance.org for more information. In the case that you are not from Florida, do not hesitate to contact Ms. Teck and she will put you in contact with the Charter School Alliance for your state. To hear more about advocacy efforts and the future of Charter Schools, please tune in to episode 24 of Teach the Way they Learn, or episode 2 of Charter School Superstars below.