Some people may not be aware of this, but charter schools were originally envisioned to serve as partners, not competitors, with traditional public schools. These schools would be teacher-led with educators free of several rules and regulations that apply to traditional school districts so they could be innovative and test out new approaches to learning. Charter schools were also seen as hubs of diversity, attracting students of varied racial and economic backgrounds. Those are all facets of the original vision of Albert Shanker (1928-1997). The former President of the United Federation of Teachers and later the American Federation of Teachers was known as the charter school founder. But some reports find that his vision, first expressed back in the late 1980s, may not align with the charter schools of today.
On this Need to Know segment we examine the mission, purpose and vision of Rochester’s charter schools. The discussion includes: Joe Klein (Chairman and Founder of E3 Rochester), Allen Williams (Director of Special Projects and Education Initiatives for the City of Rochester), and Justin Kwasa (Rochester and Central New York Advocacy Manager for the Northeast Charter School Network).