Editorial: Judges rule in students’ best interest

Dec. 04, 2013 @ 11:16 PM

Students in North Carolina got some needed help on Tuesday from three judges at the state Court of Appeals.

Unanimously, a bid for a virtual charter school from a company in Virginia was rejected. K12 Inc. was hopeful of operating outside many normal school rules and could have easily profited greatly with our tax dollars had its charter been granted.

We’re not opposed to charter schools. In fact, we’ve seen great success by students in the environs afforded by Vance Charter School and by Henderson Collegiate, two that operate currently within the city.

More applications in Vance County are being considered by the state’s Board of Education. Across the state, charters are fast becoming a norm rather than an exception.

The face of education has been changing, and will continue to evolve. With the cap on charter schools lifted — it was once 100 total — competition is arising for students.

Low-performing public schools are feeling the heat. Either they’ll embrace and rise to meet the challenge, or they’ll continue to fritter away and take our children’s education with them.

The charter schools are doing well for various reasons. But chief among them is the interaction that happens in the classroom, and within the relationship of parents and educators.

In some cases, that’s an advantage over traditional public schools. And it is the prevailing reason why virtual charter schools are an idea we have no intention of endorsing anytime soon.

K12 has a measure of success. According to a published report, it is in about 30 states. But academic proficiency is questionable.

K12’s schools in Tennessee are reportedly among the state’s worst in two years of existence. In Florida, teachers have been assigned to classes they were not certified to teach. There was also a question about educators’ lack of contact with students.

There’s no secret fix to education. Relationships will foster positive outcomes. Learning environments will produce the best educations.

And if any school, be it public, charter or private, is not working diligently on those two characteristics, chances are very good that a number of students are going to be failed by that education system.

We find it difficult to believe virtual charters can meet such a standard.