BU News Service
It’s 7:45 on a Friday morning. Many students of Community Charter School of Cambridge(CCSC) have already arrived at the the school gate, waiting to hand in their homework and begin their school day. Some boys and girls are chatting in small groups, while others are reading by themselves. They are all dressed up in either red, white or black uniforms with school badges on them.
As a charter public school that has more free reign in operating classes and developing educational culture, CCSC has a rigorous code of conduct.
“Some of the rules are way too much,” said Darlenies (who was unwilling to provide her last name), a sixth grader who got a detention for not bringing an eraser days ago. She had to stay completely quiet for one hour after school.
“We have to be super prepared to come to school,” Darlenies said.
Ingrid Mendez, 42, and mother of three, has just dropped off two of her children at Community Charter School. She said that she has sent all of her children to charter schools from kindergarten.
“They need people beside them to give them attention, to keep up with them, to give them the push, [and] to motivate them to become someone,” Mendez said.
However, seeing the success of her first son in a charter school, Mendez agrees with Gov. Charlie Baker’ proposal to open more charter schools in low performing districts in Massachusetts.
“I think every district should have enough [charter schools] to cover every child in every district,” Mendez says.
Hear more from Mendez: \[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/232371511″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=’166′ iframe=”true” /]
Tough regulations, appear to have produced outstanding academic performance and a good reputation for the school. According to the school’s website, Community Charter School has an”Excellent Standing”(Level 1) status and serves more than 360 students. There is a waiting list of applicants.
But critics say charter schools take funds away from ailing public schools.
“It’s a complicated issue,” said Andrea Baker, a reading specialist at Kennedy Longfellow School. Baker disagrees with the argument that charter schools are siphoning off good students and money from the public school system. She said that the charter schools solely work on a lottery system, and they actually have to pay money to the Cambridge Public Schools system to operate as charter schools.
Baker worked at a charter school for several years. As a teacher who has experience in both systems, Baker said she has strong faith in the Cambridge Public School system and that “it provides an excellent education to all of the students.”