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Following on from our discussion "A Clarification of Terms" .
Should anyone doubt that charter schools are public schools, consider again the matters of funding and control. The state of Arizona recently announced that it is closing four charter schools and considering closing an additional 27. The official reason is that these schools have failed to deliver quality education, although curiously it may have taken 20 or 21 years for this to have been determined. The exact criteria are unclear, although considerable weight seems to have been placed on standardised test scores.
There is no word on how the children who suffered will be helped, or if they can be helped, or of they can enter college or if they will or can succeed at college, or what happens to any missing grades, transcripts and records when charter schools close etc etc.
But back to the point - public district and public charter schools are controlled and funded by politically-elected and politically-appointed people. Priorities and what is accepted, allowed or required can and do change. Only independent schools are truly independent.
Update 13 February 2012 - an Ohio judge rules "that even though [charter] school operators are private corporate entities, they are also "public officials," in that they have received public money and been authorized to operate public schools."
Arizona places 44th of 51 (DC is included) with a rating of C-. When high-perfoming schools like Uinversity High Tucson and districts like Paradise Valley and Scottsdale are excluded, Arizona's score and rating must be lower.
The significance? The future is not local. Our children will compete against Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Virginia, the top four finishers in the 2012 "Quality Counts". Our children will compete against Berlin, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro. Our children will compete against the best and the brightest on a global playing field. Local interests and local standards are irrelevant.
For this reason, IST's motto is "Open the World to Your Child". Our standards are drawn from those of France and Germany, and in our imminent curriculum review from the OECD benchmarks. Our external assessments are international such as the Royal Schools of Music for music, or the International Schools Assessment for Use of English and Mathematics.
So if you temporarily relocate to Tucson, or if you move to one of the top US states above or to another country, or if your child intends to apply to a selective university, by choosing IST you can be sure that s/he will compete with his/her peers.