Tuesday, February 5

Wisely, new charter school to integrate education, child welfare

Charter schools have never sounded like a better idea than they do now — at the same time that regular public schools are being forced to cut essential services like tutoring and counseling, a new charter school is planning to offer unprecedented levels of social support. According to the Sun, Mott Haven Academy Charter School, opening this fall in the Bronx, will offer not only academic instruction but also a full-service welfare agency running tutoring, counseling, and activities for kids.

The Sun reports, "The result, the school's founders say, could be to revolutionize the way the government tackles poverty, giving the public better results for the same buck." I'm not sure the situation outlined in the Sun article is quite revolutionary, but it sure does make sense. Poverty, not teachers' lack of skill or dedication, is the greatest hindrance to student achievement. Greater coordination between city agencies will be necessary
to help kids learn and want to learn — and that's something that the founders of Mott Haven Academy Charter School seem already to understand.

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