Public education preferred by students and staff

How Freedom compares to alternative schools

Isabella Scipioni

Journalism Student

  While there are many different options as to where a student can attend high school today, many still believe that public schools are superior. Not only are they free to attend, but many provide students with great academic opportunities and extracurricular activities.

  Anthony Mineo, sophomore, transferred to Freedom at the beginning of the school year from Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School. He also attended Bethlehem Christian Academy, a private religious school, from kindergarten through 8th grade.

  “I stopped going to Lehigh Valley Academy Regional Charter School because it was just an overall, very stressful environment,” said Mineo.

  One reason students attend public school is for the diversity and acceptance from their peers. Mineo believes that public school is a more tolerant environment than private school.

  “I feel that I can express my views a lot more here than I could at Lehigh Valley Academy,” Mineo said.

  Mrs. Selines Oquendo, a Freedom High School guidance counselor, agrees that Freedom is a very welcoming environment.

  “Bethlehem is a very diverse school district, so students get to interact with others who come from different backgrounds and different upbringings. I think there’s definitely a benefit to that,” said Ms. Oquendo.

  One downside to private and charter schools is teachers are not required to be certified by the state. In Pennsylvania public schools, a teacher is required to have student teaching experience, a teaching license, and a college degree. Some charter and private schools might make an effort to make sure their teachers are properly certified, but they are not required to do so.

  “When you hire a teacher who is certified, you can be certain that they have gone through the proper training and education to teach at the level that they’re being hired for. I think that’s very important,” said Mrs. Oquendo.

  While there are benefits to choosing an alternative type of education, many reject public schools because they are believed to underperform. In reality, low test scores are usually caused by poverty in a community, not a failing school. Public schools are often criticized for poor academic programs. They can still provide a great education and prepare students for the real world.

On average, public school spend more on student services than charter schools.

Source: Isabella Scipioni

Mrs. Erdman is an English and journalism teacher at Freedom High School in the Bethlehem Area School District in Bethlehem, PA.

Please feel free to visit her sites: Mrs. Erdman     The Freedom Forum

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