Charter Schools and Meaningful Student Involvement

The connection between charter schools and Meaningful Student Involvement is inseparable. Unfortunately, many charters haven’t realized that yet.

Launched across the U.S. and around the world in the name of innovation, many charter schools operate independently of the public education system, while others have minimal supervision. With their commitment to new approaches to teaching and learning, charters were initially seen as potential informants and inspirations for public school reform efforts. However, in many cases they were show to be simple money chutes shoveling dollars towards private corporations and undo the democratic premise behind public schools.

In the meantime and as with a lot of school reform attempts, students are caught in the middle. Luckily, some charters actually realized the potential of Meaningful Student Involvement, or even relied on the approach. At one school in Oakland, students actually designed, implemented and sustained a charter school for their peers and the future of their community. A similar thing happened in New York City. The innovation that was supposed to be at the core of charters became apparent in these institutions. In other cases, Meaningful Student Involvement is being integrated into elements of schools.

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