A New School in Town
Actually there are two new charter schools that will be opening this September in the Greater Manchester area. Their location will be announced very soon. These charter schools will be tuition free to the public since the State of NH will be providing Adequacy Grants similar to other schools. These new schools will offer a different curriculum that should offer parents some choices.
The Mills Falls Charter School will be New Hampshire’s first public Montessori School. They will offer individual learning, mixed-age classrooms, parental engagement and other innovations already prevalent in the private Montessori School system that has been in place for around 100 years. This new opportunity is exciting to many parents.
The first year, Mills Falls will have about 90 K-3 students, soon followed by K-6 of about 220 students. They are not the only new school this year, however.
The Polaris Charter School also plans to open this year in the Greater Manchester area. Inter-disciplinary curriculum, accelerated learning based on subject mastery, inquiry based learning and working collaboratively are all hallmarks of both of these new charter schools. Their goals are to operate with more freedom from many of the regulations and restrictions that apply to so many traditional schools. It could be said that their goals are to more effectively teach students how to think, not what to think. Education is now changing rapidly.
Our children will have to compete in the world with highly educated students from around the world. The education goals today are much different than they were even 20 years ago.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), founded in 1961, measures the economic, education and policy growth of 34 developed nations. For example, Google the OECD website and follow the statistics link to education: Go to Chapter B: How much is spent per student, and look how much is spent to educate each student from each country. For instance, column 11 shows the totals for Primary to tertiary education. The US spends $13,447/student (the highest) while the OECD average is $7,840.
The results of the spending can be seen in another table under the statistics tab: Scroll down to Education and download any Excel spreadsheet that shows math, reading and science proficiency vs. the other nations. The US is somewhere in the middle and that is the opportunity. Look at the countries that are above the US on the charts.
The point about the lengthy data referenced above is that our students live in a very competitive world. Doesn’t it make sense to introduce as much healthy competition into education to make sure students are getting the best that is available? Are $100 text books the best answer?
Google Khan Academy and check out the free website to see part of the future of education. Our children and grandchildren with access to computers can learn this material faster then we can imagine. Let’s give our students a real chance for a great education!