Facts and insights about Texas public schools
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Op-Ed: This IDEA May Not Pass the Smell Test

The IDEA charter chain has received $225 million in federal funds and plans to use the money to expand in Texas. In El Paso alone, home to one IDEA charter school, the chain will open 20 new charter schools over the next few years.

That’s bad news for El Paso ISD. The district will have to cut its budget when it loses students to the new charter schools. At the same time, it will continue to educate all types of students—including those that IDEA won’t accept.

In addition to using a prescripted curriculum—designed to allow people without teaching degrees or experience to conduct classes—IDEA is a business with a board of directors, not a locally elected team of school trustees. IDEA schools also lack enrichment activities that are mainstays of public schools.

Educator and author Tim Holt concludes his op-ed with the following appeal: “…If you are considering sending your child to a Public Charter school like IDEA, check first to see if the exact things that impress you about IDEA are not already in place with better support, with more years of experience, with more experienced teachers, and with greater emphasis on the whole child (and not just your child as a test taker) at your local public school.”

Read “Op-Ed: Here’s an IDEA–Do the Smell Test First,” by Tim Holt, El Paso Herald-Post.

May 1, 2019