Thursday, August 17, 2006

Rural Charters: Intersection This Way --->

A great story of schooling appeared in the Denver Post yesterday. Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer writes of an often overlooked type of charter school--rural charters. She describes kids who would otherwise travel three hours a day to and from schools far removed from their homes and their, small, but significant communities.

I like this story because it gets us away from talk about allocative efficiencies--parents matching their kids with schools they deem best--and productive efficiencies--schools improving their product. Market based arguments are fine and well for charter advocates to tout, but these market arguments miss the mark when it comes to the intersection between community, schools, parents, and students. That's what I like about this article about rural charters in Colorado--we found an intersection.

In Marble, CO, Wittmeyer describes the Marble Charter School as a town hub. "It hosts fashion shows, and residents often volunteer their time for school projects. Citizens take pride in their town school, and it's brought the community back to life." The formation of social capital within a community as the result of parental choice cannot be overlooked.


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