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Picking sides in the charter school debate, with experience

Much of the debate about charter schools has focused on their space and resources, but less about how they’re used. But there can be day-to-day differences between charter schools and district schools as well.

Parents with children in both types of school are uniquely positioned to compare them. Harlem parent Ebony Brown had one child at Harlem Link Charter School until this past fall, when she got custody of her siblings, one of whom is in fifth grade at the local district school. In the community section, Brown outlines some of the differences she’s seen.

Brown writes:

Both my third-grader and fifth-grader have struggled with reading for some time now. The difference is that at Harlem Link this was brought to my attention immediately, and with a solution already in place for my child. They offered him in house tutoring during the day, which means three times a week he is pulled from his class during their reading hour to work with a tutor one-on-one. They also have assigned him after-school tutoring twice a week. …

Unfortunately, my brother’s district school did not go to the same great lengths as the charter school. There was no plan put in place to help me help him. I also hired him a tutor for after-school, but his teacher does not give him any additional tutoring that is needed. The only recommendation the teacher gave was to have him read a book at home, which is something that he already does at home, since it is required for my younger children at Harlem Link to read a book every night.

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