The Innovative Model of American Primary and Secondary Education: IDEA

Time:2019-03-25 20:58:32 Popular: Comment:0


The Innovative Model of American Primary and Secondary Education: IDEA


IDEA can become the largest school district in the country and the largest source of university graduates in the country. He is determined to be the pioneer of a large-scale bottom-up system for training college students from poor families. His success so far shows that America's low upward mobility comes more from wrong teaching and a broken education system than from labor globalization or other external factors. IDEA shows that the best way to reform this system is to open up to competition.


IDEA means an individual dedicated to excellence and achievement (short for Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement). It really deserves its name. It won the Best Public Chartered School Award in 2016. Six high schools appeared in the top 1% of the most challenging high schools in the United States, ranked by the Washington Post, and in the top 500 high schools ranked by American News and World Report. Including 849 IDEA graduates last spring, since 2007, all candidates have been admitted to universities or colleges. By mid-November, 50% of students in the 2012 grade had a four-year degree, more than five times the national average for poor and minority students. Three quarters of the students are the first to go to college in their family (Torkelson and his co-founder JoAnn Gama are also the first college graduates of their family). 90% of the students are eligible for free meals or subsidies, which may increase because the district launched a survey of economic conditions in 2017 and a pre-K project funded by the state government. Ninety-three percent of the students are Hispanic.


IDEA is a threat to the traditional public school system, and the left-wing coalition is lashing out at it every moment. As a temptation to Mexicans who cross the border to run schools -- taxpayer-funded schools, long waiting lists of American citizens -- it can also upset conservatives who oppose illegal immigration. As an advocate of Universities for All, IDEA may be blamed for failing to help some students prepare for blue-collar jobs. But IDEA has a strong argument against its critics: it's very efficient.


IDEA was enacted by the Texas Charter School Act of 1995. Compared with traditional public schools, charter schools do not require tuition fees, are open to all students, and are more "public" because students do not need to live in a prescribed geographical area. (If the campus attracts more applicants than the degree, the admission is decided by lottery.) Compared with public schools, school charters are less public, because they are usually run by non-profit companies, appointed board members rather than elected by the public.


An entity like IDEA that manages multiple schools is called a charter-management organization (CMO). The state government regards CMOs as a single school district, even if they operate campuses in unrelated areas. IDEA is located in Wslaco, including 20 communities in Austin, San Antonio, El Paso and the Rio Valley.


Like other public schools, charter school subsidies are calculated on the basis of average daily attendance, but the state government receives 10% to 20% less subsidized income. Nor do they get public funds from county taxes, nor do they get free facilities. Start-up funds are paid by charitable donations. On average, however, the state government gives each student more than $9,000 a year, enough to generate operating surpluses for a well-functioning charter school and pay for facility investments by selling tax-free bonds. IDEA receives a state budget of $9,000 per student and has a surplus of $30 million in the 2017-18 academic year.

The Innovative Model of American Primary and Secondary Education: IDEA


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