What the Future Holds for Charter Schools-Implications Post

Ongoing issues regarding charter schools versus public schools could continue to get worse if not resolved soon. Charter schools are just recently becoming popular, and if they do not fix some of the problems that have arisen, they will have a hard time in the future. Also, public schools will have to learn to accept charter schools unless they want to face issues pertaining the argument over which type of school is better in the future. Referring to my theory post that gave examples of issue, such as discrimination, school funding, and the amount of charter schools able to operate, could be compromised, but these issues could also remain unresolved causing future problems.

Discrimination is going to be a main topic of conversation no matter what issue is being discussed. Charter schools have been blamed in the past for illegibly making it more difficult for low income, certain races, and disabled students from attending their schools, while public schools have open enrollment, accepting everyone. If charter schools cannot prove that they do not discriminate, the ACLU and Community Legal Aid Society have already configured aspects to make it so these schools no longer do this. They would give schools that do accept these students more money in order to better educate them and make sure that it is free of costs for students to go to charter schools.

The new bill recently being passed that takes some of public schools funds and gives them to charter schools has caused arguments pertaining to why charter schools are allowed to do this. If there continues to be a debate, the state has discussed taking away private schools, and making them become charter schools, operating the certain charter. By doing this, it will increase the number of students that will attend these schools, making it easier for them to raise money in order to keep operating. 

Recently lifting the limit of how many charter schools could operate within North Carolina at one time, there could be an issue of an increasing amount of these schools that would continue to take away from public schools. If there is no set limit to how many charter schools can open, there could be many more to open in this upcoming year alone. With so many schools, there would not be enough funding to be able to operate both the public and charter schools. There is barely enough funding now for the schools that North Carolina does have operating. Adding more into the mix would result in school closures, and money and time wasted by trying to increase the number of charter schools.



Something I have continually reiterated in my blogs is that I am concerned about the future of college tuition. Tuition at public universities in North Carolina this past year rose an average of 4% for in-state students-a number that totals to about $250 at UNC Chapel Hill. From year to year this doesn’t seem terrible, but in 8 years that’s $2000 more if it continues to rise at the same pace.

What will realistically happen if tuition at universities continues to rise at a similar rate in the future?

By 2030, college tuition at a private university could cost as much as $130,428 $130,428 per year based on studies that were conducted. Public universities could be charging $41,228 per year. I’ve talked about how rising tuition continues to negatively affect lower income students and affects diversity on campuses-but with prices like these even the 1% could have more difficulty affording college tuition.

From a study conducted in 2014, a child that was 18 at the time would likely pay $76,967 for a college education at a public university. But for a child 18 years from now, that estimated cost will be $185,259.

Average tuition at public universities has risen an average of 6.5% in the last decade.

By 2030 if 4 years of a college education at a public university costs a total $205,000, it won’t just be the lower income classes that have a problem with affording college.

In my first post, I wrote how I wanted to talk about this education issue because my grandparents had immigrated from Lithuania with hopes their future generations would have more opportunities. If college tuition continues to rise as it is predicted to, will I be able to give my children a college education to better their future? I’m not totally sure after looking at these numbers.

In my first post, I wrote how I wanted to talk about this education issue because my grandparents had immigrated from Lithuania with hopes their future generations would have more opportunities. If college tuition continues to rise as it is predicted to, will I be able to give my children a college education to better their future? I’m not totally sure after looking at these numbers.

After-school Programs for High School

Hi readers! I hope I convinced you that the ELO Programs are crucial for future generations. For this week’s post, I specifically want to focus on looking at these programs being implemented in high school.

            I think most people agree that kids should have access to these programs when they are in elementary school, providing a nurturing environment and most importantly a place where kids can get supervision. But what happens when kids are in high school and old enough to supervise themselves? Studies have shown that these are crucial years, and most likely the years when students choose to engage in risky behavior. I think these programs should also be implemented in high school, in a way that kids can learn, and engage in the real world. This improves college readiness and helps in allowing kids to gain professional skills.

            These programs would not look like programs for those in elementary school, but would be catered to the students and their academic life at school. By allowing students to gain internships, or being part of a shadowing program after-school, students will gain knowledge about what they wish to do in the future, as well as gain class credit by getting experiential knowledge about the subject outside of class and learning the content in class. I think by implementing such programs, students will become aware of opportunities and gain knowledge in the career they want to explore.

What do you think about implementing more ELO Programs in high school? Would you have appreciated these programs in your school?

-Girl 2

Theory Post- The Long Road Ahead for Educators in NC

As mentioned throughout my analysis post, North Carolina continues to be ranked among the lowest in the nation for teacher salary. The state has an average of $45,967 per year compared to the national U.S. average of $ 51,354 per year. The issues that arise from these unjust salaries are numerous and raise questions as to whether students are able to obtain a quality education from within the education system. Although the graduation rate remain around 84 percent as seen in a recent article ((http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2014-15/20140904-01), a lack of well experienced teachers places the future of education at risk.

Recently, the House and Senate established a new bill that mandates all teachers receive a small one-time raise with a small increase in annual salary. While this bill is a step in the right direction, it is not sustainable as many teachers feel the need to pay for school supplies out of pocket since many districts receive little to no funding towards materials. These teachers sometimes spend more than $500 dollars with an increasing number turning to funding websites for donations for pens, paper or computers. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/100952415). Furthermore, state officials dismissed raises for teachers with master degrees and ended the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program (NCTFP) which was used to recruit young students out of high school into education programs. (http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2014/09/low-teacher-pay-sets-back-nc-education).

The state desperately needs a major reevaluation of how the federal and state budgets are being spent and distributed with a large amount going directly towards increased salaries. This alone could potentially provide teachers with the salary needed to stay within North Carolina and teach without worrying about supporting themselves. Additionally, the NCTEP needs to be reestablished in order to replenish lost talent back into the school systems through encouraging young students to become well-educated teachers.The heart of education comes from teachers and staff within the community who play a vital role in educating and shaping the minds of future generations. North Carolina needs to push for greater acknowledgement of the importance of education and afford public school teachers the compensation they deserve, and need.

What are your thoughts? Could increasing salaries for teachers help solve the problem and decrease the teacher turnover rate in NC?

A Compromise of Educational Equality- Theory Post

In my analysis post, I studied the major aspects involved in the division of education into public and private sectors. Overall, this split focuses on inequality as a result of a failing educational system. Due to this, some people believe that private schools, regardless of their inaccessibility to all, are the best option to solve this waning problem. Others however, view private schools as the problem and strongly believe that if removed, the government will be more prone to create educational equality among all. A compromise will have to be theorized in order to create a balance between the two extremes.

The No Child Left Behind Law has been reauthorized seven times and has yet to accomplish its purpose of equality. Instead, it has created an inefficient way for redistributing education funding to states. I believe that by reevaluating this law, more funds could be provided to public schools that can only be used for the mere purpose of improving public school education, thus equalizing them with private institutions.

Another option would be to expand President Obama’s plan of lowering tuition costs by broadening it to cover not only colleges, but private high schools as well. Although it cannot exactly top a free educational system, it will reduce probability of inequality by making this an affordable choice to more people.

Lastly, this problem could be solved by imposing less acts, such as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that focus mainly on the economical part of this problem, and instead creating more educational laws. Pertinent to both public and private institutions, these laws should clearly state what each student in the U.S. has to have mastered in order for their continuance to the next level. If the laws for both institutions are the same, chances are that level of education will be too.

Do you think this will solve the problem?

A Solution to Expand ELO Programs (Theory Post)

The problems pertaining to ELO Programs is complex and difficult to solve as a lot of different factors go into it, as I looked at in my analysis post. Parents, educators, students, and politicians agree that ELO Programs are crucial for learning and for the world we live in today. However, the problem is that the programs are not widespread enough for students to get excess to the, thus creating a divide among those that can benefit from these programs, and those who can’t. With limited funding provided to them, the issue becomes a harder one to solve. This can be solved by answering what the primary functions of the after-school programs are, and what they should look like, thus increasing funding to only the programs that implement this. This will cause these programs to expand in other communities, allowing for more access to them.

Some educators argue that these after school programs should focus on academics and should be a time for kids to do their homework. However, others disagree and say that the after-school programs should allow students to explore hobbies and things outside of the academic realm. Research by the APA has shown that students should have the option to choose what they prefer and help them develop skills in what the want, a holistic developmental approach. Also, by keeping these programs in schools, the students make use of the various facilities an academic building can provide, such as, libraries, gyms, art rooms, etc. Also it helps with other costs, such as, transportation. Allowing these programs to be held in school, it also allows easy expansion for these programs across different communities.

What do you think about these solutions?

Charter Schools and Public Schools Compromise- theory post

The debate between charter and public schools continues to be an ongoing issue. Whether or not charter schools or public schools are better relates to the issues of school funding, discrimination, and the amount of charter schools that are allowed to operate in North Carolina at one time. Being for charter schools, I think there are some aspects that could be revised in order to make establishing of these new schools fair the existing public schools.

With public schools initially acquiring more funds then charter schools, it has recently been voted upon that charter schools will begin receiving a portion of public schools funding, angering public schools. In order to come to a compromise on this issue, states could make funding equal for both charter and public schools. Since charter schools are also considered public schools, it would only be fair that they receive just as much money as other public schools.

Another main issue pertaining to the argument between charter schools and public schools is the belief that discrimination is arising in charter schools. By charter schools’ having a lottery based entrance system, it has raised questions to how it is fair to students. Random selecting can result in not allow students who might preform better in charter schools to attend because their name was not chosen from the lottery. By allowing an open-ended entrance system, just like public schools, it would be less discriminating because anyone who wants to attend would be able to. This gives students a fair choice of which type of school they would like to attend.

Lastly, if the restriction to how many charter schools are allowed in North Carolina at one time was reestablished, it would allow more public schools to maintain the amount of students within their schools. This compromise will allow students who want to attend charter schools be able to, while still limiting the amount of students who can leave public schools to attend charter schools. It will satisfy public schools, yet still having charter schools for students to attend. With fewer charter schools, public schools would also get to keep more of their funding that they were so unhappy about sharing in the first place.

Solutions to Rising College Tuition

For the past few weeks now I’ve been discussing rising tuition at universities and posed the question of whether college education is viewed as a right or a privilege. One of the side effects of rising tuition is less diversity on campuses as students from lower and middle-income classes are often the most impacted by tuition increases. Diversity is actually something that many people encourage, as there are many benefits. On a list of 10 reasons diversity is needed on college campuses, the final reason listed is “the majority of Americans support race-conscious policies in higher education”.

So, I don’t think that there is a theory needed to help bring this side effect to an end because many people don’t oppose diversity on campuses.

However, there needs to be a solution and balance found to allow universities to function well and have money to afford the staff and resources that are needed in order to provide students with a quality education but not while continuing to raise tuition every year and increasing student debt.

One possible solution is to increase the amount of grants, particularly for students who do not have the financial resources to afford college. As I’ve discussed, many of the people who miss out on postsecondary education opportunities are those coming from low-income backgrounds who might not have parents who have attended college. The government could increase Pell grants which is designed for first generation college students.

State legislatures could also increase merit-based scholarships to state universities that serve particularly lower-and middle-income students. In Georgia, the HOPE scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. There is no limit to how many students can receive the HOPE Scholarship, the only requirements are that they graduate from high school with at least a 3.0 GPA, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA while in college, and attend a public or private university in Georgia.

If all states had scholarships resembling this, they could increase the amount of students staying in state to attend universities and receive more money for their universities, and students would have more financial help and further incentive to do well in school in order to keep receiving their scholarship.

What are your oppositions to these theories I’ve stated? Do you have any suggestions on ways we can prevent tuition from rising too much or help lessen student debt?

Charter Schools Testing Out New Methods of Teaching

Welcome back! I’m so glad you guys decided to join me for my last blog post! Hopefully you will enjoy it. In my past posts, I have discussed the reasons why charter schools should exist by describing the different aspects that put them above public schools.

Continuing on this topic, charter schools have started a new online section that offer “six core courses” that are free for the students. This online charter school has just recently come about and is being tested in Greenville, NC this year. Being online, the students have to do a lot of the teaching to themselves, making it a little harder to keep up, but there are advantages that come out of this one trade off. Online learning can be set at a pace that is most reasonable for the student and is a more convenient way for students with busy schedules to be able to get the same education. Other than just those who are busy, it is also very effective to those who have problems adjusting to a classroom. Students especially who have a past with bullying or trouble focusing in a classroom, this option will help these students maximize their learning since they will feel more comfortable taking classes in another setting. This may raise questions pertaining to how they would still be related to charter schools, but the students who take advantage of this are still required to partake in standardized testing and if they need it, the actual charter schools will lend the student a computer and Internet usage in order to be able to participate in this online schooling.

What are your thoughts about this new way of schooling? Do you think it will be more beneficial to certain students?

Analysis: Teachers- the Heart of North Carolina Education

North Carolina educators face uncertainties surrounding annual salaries and continue to experience wages that are among the worse in the country. This analysis post will focus on the discrepancies that exist regarding annual salaries for public high school teachers throughout North Carolina compared to other states across the nation, the repercussions taking place as a result of these low wages and discuss the current political policies in place to correct these issues.

While I will focus specifically on public high school teachers, it is worth mentioning the average salary of teachers in grades kindergarten through middle school, in order to best provide a foundation of what teachers across the state are experiencing and that this issue is not just limited to high school teachers. Early education teachers, as mentioned above, receive a mean annual salary of $43,198 dollars compared to the national U.S. mean of $51,354 dollars annually, with the exception of high cost of living states such as New York and California (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nc.htm#25-0000). High school educators begin their teaching careers earning approximately $30,800 dollars a year, often taking up to 15 years to earn $40,000. The state’s average teacher salary, which encompasses teachers throughout all grades, is $45,967 annually, making North Carolina almost $10,000 dollars behind the national average (http://www.wral.com/low-pay-forces-nc-teachers-to-choose-between-profession-state/12828323/). Ultimately, these salary differences are creating problems that reverberate throughout the school systems and force talented, passionate teachers to leave their teaching careers in search of higher paying jobs elsewhere to support themselves and their families.
As North Carolina utilizes a state-mandated salary schedule to determine teacher’s minimum wages, the annual increases in salary are determined by experience as well as level of certification (http://www.teachingdegree.org/north-carolina/salary/). Regardless, lower salaries are affecting both new and veteran teachers alike with some choosing to leave the state or leave the career altogether. As seen in the 2013-2014 school year, 13,557 teachers left their local school districts, making the turnover rate 14.12 percent. This indicates that teachers throughout the state are discontent, for various reasons, and are seeking work elsewhere. While there was a six percent salary raise last year, many teachers still feel unjustly paid and taken advantage for (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/educatoreffectiveness/surveys/leaving/2001-02turnoverreport.pdf). This turnover rate is creating issues elsewhere in the education community including gaps in teacher availability which places additional stress on the remaining teachers. Additionally, North Carolina has seen an alarming drop in enrollment in teacher training with a 20 percent decrease in the past three years with many places facing serious shortages in areas including science, math and special education (http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/03/03/389282733/where-have-all-the-teachers-gone). A shortage in teachers means an increase in the number of students per classroom, creating additional distractions and less one-on-one availability with struggling students.

In response to the increasing concern for salary injustice, teacher pay has become a major focal point for law makers in North Carolina and became a forefront political issue over the past few months as the state moved forward to provide salary increases for educators. (http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article24618103.html). In early 2015, both the Senate and House proposed a two part change which included a pay increase at most levels and a gradual increase which allow teachers to move up in pay and experience on a yearly basis. While both the House and Senate agreed that teachers needed a pay raise, there were disagreements regarding the exact amount to be allotted. The House proposed an equally spread out salary boost across the board, while the Senate proposed to spend considerably less with the bulk of funding targeted towards early career teachers. Under the Senate’s proposal, the highest percentage salary increase would go to a teacher with four years of experience, while veteran teachers with more than 25 years’ experience would see no raises at all and their salary would be capped between $50,000 to $55,000 dollars.  Overall, the pay increase would yield between a 12.8 to 16 percent change- an amount that would not prove sufficient in the long run (http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2015/06/16/nc-senate-unveils-education-budget-that-guts-teacher-assistants-rewards-less-experienced-teachers/).

The long debate came to a conclusion in August 2015 between lawmakers and legislative officials with a spending plan that was originally set to be completed in June 2015. While the wait is finally over for the concerned teachers and school officials, the results were not as expected or hoped. After months of negotiations between the House and Senate, the state’s $21.74 billion dollar education funding budget is awaiting Governor Pat McCrory’s signature. The bill was passed in a final 81 to 22 vote by House and mandates that all teachers receive a $750 dollar bonus, an amount that only calculates to $62.50 per month, before taxes. While their annual salaries will increase to $35,000 dollars as promised, it still remains far below the national average of $44,900 dollars per year (http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2015/08/26/just-in-house-senate-reach-deal-on-teacher-state-employee-pay-raises/).

The issues that arise from these unjust salaries are numerous. Perhaps the most concerning is the overall decline in the ability to obtain a quality education from North Carolina public schools. While the graduation rate for the 2014 school year hit the state’s record high of 83.9 percent (http://www.ncpublicschools.org/newsroom/news/2014-15/20140904-01), students are not obtaining the best education they can receive as more veteran teachers leave. The lack of incentives to keep or recruit veteran teachers is forcing the state to hire inexperienced teachers from out of state who hold little or no familiarity with North Carolina or its culture. Furthermore, state legislation dismissed raises for teachers who hold master degrees and ended the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Program, which recruits students into education programs directly after high school (http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2014/09/low-teacher-pay-sets-back-nc-education). This decision raises questions regarding the state’s respect for education within North Carolina and promotes increased worry about the future of education throughout the state. Teachers are the heart of the classrooms and the ones providing education to for future generations who deserve respect and least of all, salary compensation.