A reader responded to an earlier post about the likely closing of two more charter schools in Albany associated with the Brighter Choice Foundation. The Brighter Choice charters were once called “the holy grail” of school reform by conservative admirers. The reader left a comment describing her experience in one of the Brighter Choice charter schools (BCCS) in Albany that closed:



She writes:



As a former employee of one of the BCCS that closed, I have to say that there are positives and negatives to charters. I have worked in both district and charter schools so I could compare. Behavior wise, I found the charter schools equal to the district schools. However, the charter schools lacked the resources to manage many of the behavior problems. Due to needing to keep enrollment numbers up, children were not expelled and continued to behave poorly (walking out of class, yelling at teachers, etc.). The BCCS I was in really cared about the children and there was a family-like atmosphere. However, many of the students did not perform well academically due to several factors. 1) Many of the students entered the school below grade level academically. Even improvements would not have been enough to be proficient on the state exam. 2) not sure about other schools, but our school had very little parent involvement despite outreach from the school, 3) behavior issues impacted the ability to learn, 4) middle schools are much different with elementary. A lot more outside factors impact in-school learning.


Although I think it is good to have alternative school choices, I do not approve of spending tax dollars to fund multiple schools that are all performing the same.