The Development of School Choice in Indiana
& How It Has Helped Put Students First
School Choice in Indiana has come a long way from its roots. Established in 2008, the School Choice Program initially gave students the right to request transfer to another school or district entirely. Today, the School Choice Program has given all students in Indiana the choice of attending 6 different types of schools, most at little to no cost to themselves or their parents.
Of course, the option stands to attend traditional public and private schools. However, they also have the option of attending public charter and magnet schools, as well as attending courses, homeschooling, and micro-schools, known as learning pods. Allowing students and their parents the freedom to choose their own path has had great effects on the state’s educational statistics and the wellbeing of the student body as a whole.
If you are interested in learning more about the School Choice Program & its benefits to students across the state, read on, and contact Options Schools today!
The Need for School Choice
Traditional schooling simply is not for everybody. As many people understand it, the public school system is built to cater to an extremely specific kind of student. Although the “that kind of student” mold is meant to be as general as possible, those who do not fit that mold will inevitably be at somewhat of a disadvantage in a more closed-off system.
Indiana’s School Choice Program allows students in this situation to better cater their educational experience to their specific needs. The addition of public magnet and charter schools (such as Options Charter School), as well as the lower class sizes of learning pods and homeschooling, guarantees an uptick in learning potential by giving students the attention and teaching style they need to be successful.
The Benefits of School Choice
The implementation of the School Choice Program came from the desire to put the student first. In states without a school choice, teachers in traditional public schools have very little say in things like curriculum or rigor, and due to cases of overcrowding, they wind up having little say in teaching style. This is because they do not have the necessary time to really get to know and understand their students, let alone personalize lesson plans for each individual.
The teacher-to-student ratio is one of the main factors in seeing the positive effects of school choice. By simply allowing for more schooling options, Indiana pushes that ratio further in the student’s favor. Whereas before, a student was delegated and detained to one school that was a part of a larger district, the same amount of students are spread out to a much wider scale, including multiple districts and school styles. This allows each student more one-on-one time with their teachers, and teachers more ability and time to personalize their lesson plans to their class and their strengths.
Playing to, and Maximizing the Strengths of Students
Are you a visual learner or an auditory learner? Do you excel in creative subjects or STEM? Do you work better as a team or alone? These are just a few examples of questions that can be answered and addressed best in a more open, school choice system. Instead of being pigeonholed, students can attend a school where their success is measured on a better understanding scale. This not only results in higher grades across the board but also a higher overall mental wellbeing of a given student body.
School choice also gives students the ability to specialize themselves long before others who have no choice. Instead of waiting until junior year of college to get to specialty courses, a school choice program allows students the opportunity to focus their studies as early as 8th grade, making them far better candidates for college and job applications.
School Choice, The Right Choice
For over a decade, Indiana has made the choice to install and grow its school choice program. Born from the necessity of putting students at the forefront of their own education, the School Choice Program has positively influenced the efficacy of Indiana’s school systems. By allowing students the freedom of foraging their path not only gives them knowledge and experience that they will take with them for the rest of their life, but also allows them to play to their strengths and gain confidence in the things that bring them joy.
By expanding the options for students, teachers become more specialized as well. Their classrooms become smaller, and the individualized attention that every student needs is now a possibility.
School choice, simply put, is the best choice. For students. For teachers. For the future.
If you are interested in learning more about charter schooling in Indiana, contact Options Schools today!