Rethinking Education with Charter Schools; Choice Leads to Academic Excellence

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

Rethinking Education with Charter Schools; Choice Leads to Academic Excellence


Byline: Jessica Wodatch, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

District parents and students are getting ready to return to school this week, which means my colleagues at Two Rivers Public Charter School are preparing for our ninth school year. Founded in 2004 by a group of Capitol Hill parents, our free public charter school is run independently of the city's traditional public school system.

As a charter school, we are free to create our own curriculum and school culture while being held accountable for improved student performance by the independent D.C. Public Charter School Board. The board is responsible for ensuring that the city's charter schools, which educate 41 percent of D.C. children enrolled in public school, maintain high academic standards and are well-run. The board classifies Two Rivers as one of just 22 high performing D.C. charter schools.

According to one of the measures of academic achievement, the city's standardized reading and math tests, our school is performing to a high standard. Overall, 73.3 percent of students at our elementary school campus scored advanced or proficient, as did 69.2 percent of students at our middle school campus.

To place that in perspective, our elementary school scored 29 percentage points higher than the average traditional D.C. public school and 21 percentage points higher than the average D.C. public charter school. Our middle school scored 22 and 17 percentage points higher, respectively.

Our students excel at the state test, but we do not teach them to excel at the test. They are performing at a high level because of the academically rigorous program that challenges Two Rivers students to learn new skills and apply them in new environments. Two Rivers' educational program is based on a research-tested, project-based approach known as expeditionary learning, which aims to teach students how to learn and solve problems as opposed to merely preparing them to pass standardized tests.

Two Rivers aims to lay the foundations of knowledge that students need, but also to teach them how to solve complex problems. We build up their ability to work with others, to reflect on what they have done and to change direction if needed. We teach them how to analyze situations, synthesize information, make connections and generate solutions. We think these 21st-century skills will be essential for their success as adults.

In adopting this approach, my colleagues and I were heavily influenced by a book, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market, written by economists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Rethinking Education with Charter Schools; Choice Leads to Academic Excellence
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.