Letters and Opinion

Get behind Ballard's charter school push

June 18, 2011

I support and applaud Mayor Greg Ballard’s actions regarding the city’s incorporation of failing schools.

For many years, we have tried solutions that did not work. During every legislative session, the discussion about money for schools is repeated with the same tiresome argument of “more money for schools equals better education.”

What do we really see? We see that more money does not equal better-educated students. We see students who drop out of school, cannot fill out job applications and are unprepared for higher education.

A school that does not meet certain standards—likely very basic standards—is not serving Indiana. The schools in question have failed to meet state expectations for six consecutive years. It is time for a new approach.

The Indianapolis public charter school program is a success. The system’s students continue to surpass their traditional public school counterparts in educational gains, according to a 2011 Stanford University study. Why not try something that is known to work?

Ballard knows charter schools are an opportunity to be innovative and flexible and that we need less bureaucracy, more local control and higher standards. These schools need the flexibility to incorporate what works and dismiss what does not, and the faith of parents that their children can and will receive a quality education to help them succeed. Ballard is suggesting innovation along with accountability.

Ballard’s approach is bold! I hope our community has the foresight to support his efforts.

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Ed Cahill
 

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