WHAT ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS ?
I don't know the current laws or what it might take to make it happen, but if an active motivated group of parents got together on each island maybe a charter school can spring forth.
I know that in the states some jurisdictions allow motivated parents to organize and open a charter school. The school is funded by government funds. It is open to children who need (want) educational programs that meet their needs. Some federal funding requires that charter schools be an option.
If the USVI law allows it someone should jump on it. I do not have children here, my grandchildren who are school age are in the states. GET THE BALL ROLLING. First find out if it can happen and then how to make it happen. This is not a "pipe dream". If the law allows it many children will benefit.
Some charter schools are primary and middle grades, and some are secondary schools. Some are even K- thru 12th grade.They can make big changes in the schools of parent who really care.
Please research this and report back so others can get involved.
I actually believe in charter schools. Here's some California information. It takes a lot more than just parents deciding to get together and start the program. It's the State, Local school board and private initiative that have to be working together.
Do I think it can happen in the VI's. Unfortunately, not!!!!
The big problem with charter schools, IMP, is they don't have to take all children. My sister works hard as a teacher in the public schools and she says she could do a much better job if, every year she could remove 2-3 kids from her class. But where do those kids go?
Sorry, I'll stick to public schools, with oversight by the public.
Those kids would continue to go to public school, charter schools don't replace schools. What oversight does the public have in the USVI school system, recent event comes to me. There is oversight of Charter Schools by more than just the public. I'll use the State of California frame work for Charter schools, it's called Basic Education code 47605 you should google it, makes an interesting read. After you read it ,you might come back with a different opinion.
Not sure what Lizzy means when he says Hovensa. If you mean deep pockets??? That's not what happens in California or at least Los Angeles where I am more familiar with the schools. It's not the work of major corporations.
Charter schools will not work in the VI's. You need a public structure that is already in place and a territorial government that agrees this is a good way to go.
At this point you don't even have a supt of schools, because your due diligence senators talked to a lot of teacher union folks on the US mainland.
Do you think the teachers union in Los Angeles like the idea of charter schools.............well, the answer is NO.
In order to effect change: It takes money (All Large Companies have a social/economic responsibility to the community at large). They Donate money for political campaigns, Service Organizations, School Systems etc.
Hovensa has a real vested interest in the USVI school system because it effects their ability to recruit and retain qualified employee's with dependent school aged children. They spend alot of money for private schools for dependents now. A Charter school in place could be a win -win for them.
I almost forgot, The USVI does not have a territorial Government.. Hit the search button, this topic has been discussed ad nausea. Large Fed Dollars, with strings attached could be of Great Value in this pursuit.
Battles are always won with superior fire Power, Known fact! Money + Voter+ Federal Muscle = Charter Schools.
What I meant was "wouldn't any school do well if they could hand-pick their students?" But the role of the public, tax-supported, school is to educate everyone. That is why I am against tax-supported charter schools -- they can pick and choose students and don't have the oversight I think is necessary.
The USVI schools definitely need help, but I don't think charter schools are the answer.
And for those of you who are basically saying "somebody should do something", if you believe charter schools are the way to go, you should try to effect change.
You might want to research the public charter schools in Washington, DC. These schools have to adhere to "No Child Left Behind" and the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA) like any other public school in DC - I'd be happy to try and connect you with someone that might be able to assist you with information about the public charter schools in Washington, DC.
Charter schools are both good and bad. They provide a competitive atmosphere in the school. Schools compete to get students. Charter schools can not choose who will or will not attend their schools, if they are federally funded. If they are not federally funded they can pick whomever they choose, and deny whomever they choose. If the school takes federal funding, they must adhere to NCLB and IDEA, just as public schools do, but the public school also must provide transportation to the students in the charter school as well as offer vouchers to pay for the charter school, around $9500 per student stateside. However when the school is not federally funded, they do not have to adhere to NCLB or IDEA, but the public schools are still responsible for transportation and vouchers per student. A charter school can be funded many ways, grants, large companies, families, etc. They are not far out of reach for USVI, especially since the school must adhere to NCLB, which demands the offering of alternative schools.