Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Could Charters Be a Cure for Schools’ Joylessness?

October 08, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Alfie Kohn has the grace to acknowledge in his Commentary “Feel-Bad Education” (Sept. 15, 2004) that “joy has been in short supply in some classrooms for as long as there have been classrooms.” But he worries that the current situation is getting worse because of the emphasis on accountability and results, and because of a perceived mind-set that insists on rigor rather than love of learning.

Regardless of the tug of war between the traditionalists and the progressives that he describes, Mr. Kohn could visit any of a number of public charter schools where joy prevails. For instance, he could go to the KIPP academies of the Knowledge Is Power Program, or Amistad Academy in New Haven, Conn., or one of the Aspire Public Schools in California, public charter schools all. At these schools and others, Mr. Kohn would find exactly what he would like to see: children who are eager to learn, excited about coming to school, and performing at higher levels than those in comparable traditional public schools.

Successful public charter schools combine all the elements that make schooling a joy. Each child is given individual attention, parents are required to make a commitment to their children’s schooling, and a spirit of community unites all stakeholders.

But most of all, public charter schools offer choices. Choices for teachers to work there, choices for parents to send their children there, and choices for children to pursue their strengths and overcome their weaknesses within carefully crafted and different curricula.

If Mr. Kohn is concerned about the joylessness of the public school experience, he should consider the great opportunities public charter schools represent.

Gisèle Huff

San Francisco, Calif.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: September 21, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: September 7, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 31, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: August 24, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read