Should all schools have the same academic standards?

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By Miruna Radu, Staff Writer

Looking for good colleges and applying to them is stressful enough, and the last thing on your mind should be whether or not you will have any chance of getting into a college based on the academic standards your school followed. Believe it or not, charter schools are the types of high schools that can teach using their own set of academic standards, which can greatly influence the way colleges assess students.  They are putting too much trust and responsibility in the hands of teachers and authorities. So, should all schools have the same academic standards?

The answer to this question may seem pretty obvious, but the number of schools that teach according to different academic standards may surprise you. Charter schools are allowed to sign contracts that allow them to choose their own standards and teaching styles to meet the individual needs of their students- but should this be allowed? These contracts exempt charter schools from state regulations, allowing teachers to choose whichever set of academic standards is more convenient for them. According to realclearpolicies.com, “Charter schools’ defining feature is the freedom to choose what and how students learn.” The extent of leniency this creates for teachers can be extremely effective or extremely detrimental to their students, depending fully on how prepared and enthusiastic the teacher is. But depending on a system that can only result in these two extremes is much more risky than having all teachers follow the same basic standards.

In public schools, the Common Core standards keep everything and everyone together. Furthermore, they set specific standards that are taken into consideration when colleges or universities assess a student. With colleges being familiar with the student’s academic standards, they will be able to better judge a student based on their personal abilities. In charter schools, however, colleges may not know why a student is, per say, lacking in certain subject fields or areas because the specific set of standards is unclear and, ultimately, inaccessible. Overall, there is a sense of obscurity when it comes to the standards of charter schools.

Uniform academic standards are like uniform laws. Although these standards regulate and maintain content being taught, the dynamic between students and teachers will always remain efficiently unique.

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