Alternative Learning Environment

             Wisconsin's School Choice Programs.

             During the last twenty years, parents have increasingly demanded more .

             options in public pre-education. Despite rising enthusiasm for school choice, .

             it is still not clear if students are making educational gains in these .

             alternative learning environments.

             Charter schools are public schools governed by a charter (contract) .

             with the local or state school board. In exchange for reduced bureaucratic .

             regulations and increased program freedom, the charter school is responsible .

             for proving increased academic achievement in a specific area within a .

             three-to five-year time frame. Funding for charter schools is calculated by .

             multiplying the number of students by either the average state or local .

             district per-pupil allocation.

             Milwaukee's school choice differs that of its opponents, which makes .

             citizens think that school choice will harm children left behind in public .

             schools, where here in Milwaukee we have the opposite. "The oldest and .

             most-examined voucher experiment began in 1990 in Milwaukee. The .

             Milwaukee choice program provides low-income parents with vouchers to .

             send their children to secular, private schools. It is limited to1.5 percent of .

             Milwaukee public school enrollment, involving about 2,500 students who .

             receive about 4,300 each.”.

             School choice fundamentally has changed Milwaukee's public educations .

             mindset, that only wealthier parents had choice. If you were poor and lived .

             in Milwaukee your kids would be going to Milwaukee public schools.

             Parental choice changed all this. A big change came in 1998, and 2001 when .

             Wisconsin's Supreme Court upheld the programs constitutionality. When the .

             court upheld vouchers it sent a shock through the public school system. With .

             the realization that low-income parents now had options, the public .

             education establishment knew it would have to improve. Another choice for .

             students in large urban areas is magnet schools.

Related Essays: