Just Released: New Book Shows Parents and Students are Choosing Diversity When Enrolling in Charter Schools
One of the key traits that distinguishes charter schools from traditional public schools is the diversity of educational experiences promoted by the ability to choose, writes Lance Izumi in his new book Choosing Diversity, published by the Pacific Research Institute.
Watch a brief video of Izumi talking about his new book.
“My book shows that charter schools are not just different from traditional public schools but are very different from each other,” said Izumi. “For many parents, choosing a charter school that offers a safe-learning environment or a technology-focused curriculum is much more important than test scores alone. Every day, parents choose diversity in sending their children to the charter schools that best meet the individual needs of their kids.”
Charter schools are independent public schools that are autonomous from school districts and have greater flexibility to implement innovative learning models. In Choosing Diversity, He profiles 13 different charter schools across the country that are as different from each other as one could imagine.
Among the different schools profiled in Choosing Diversity are:
- Schools that emphasize student-centered learning and implement new education technology (Design Tech High School and Summit Shasta Public School in the San Francisco Bay Area)
- Schools that use a classical education model, emphasizing the Socratic method and the Great Books of Western Civilization (John Adams Academy in Roseville, CA and Mason Classical Academy in Naples, FL)
- Schools that cater to students from difficult environments (Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay) or students with autism or other disabilities (NYC Autism Charter School in New York City)
- Schools that cater to students with special talents, such as the performing arts, or which cater to homeschoolers (Natomas Charter School in Sacramento, CA and Classical Academy in San Diego)
- Schools that cater to students in both rural (Grimmway Academy in Shafter, CA) and urban communities (Success Academy in New York, Magnolia Charter Schools in Los Angeles, Avondale Meadows Academy in Indianapolis and DSST Public Schools in Denver)
As part of the roll-out of Choosing Diversity, PRI has released a mini-documentary called “Welcome to Change,” profiling one of the schools in the book – Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.
Lance Izumi is the senior director of PRI’s Center for Education, and a former chairman of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. He has written extensively on charter schools and school choice, and most recently was the author of An American Education Agenda, which outlined local, state, and federal reform measures to expand school choice and boost charter schools.