By Trishna Buch
I have learned many things in the year and a half that
I have spent, thus far, earning a Master’s in Early
Childhood Education. But, if there is one key takeaway
from all the knowledge I have gathered, it is that no child
is like another. Every child has a unique style of learning,
and this means that schools and teachers need to
account for these different styles, by providing a multitude
of learning choices and opportunities for students.
These learning opportunities can start in the classroom,
when teachers include several different material types
for learning—based on the skills of their students. But
it can also extend beyond the classroom, by providing
different types of schools—all of which best fit the needs
and learning styles of different students.
On one hand, many parents are not aware that there
are so many different choices of schools to send their
child too. On the other hand, since the schools know and
understand the importance of providing every child with
an education that best meets their needs, they have figured
out a way to increase the awareness of parents, as
it pertains to these choices. This increase in knowledge
is all thanks to the National School Choice Week.
Started in 2011, National School Choice Week takes
place every January. This year, in Texas, the week
takes place between January 21st and January 27th.
According to the event’s website, schoolchoiceweek.
com/about/, the aim of NSCW is to recognize the all of
the K-12 educational options that are available for parents
and students. When most people think of schools, their
knowledge is limited to only public and private schools.
And, don’t get me wrong, prior to my experiences in the
educational field, I had no idea that there were so many
school choices out there for children. But, through my
experiences and through learning about NSCW, I have
learned that, along with the traditional public and private
schools, parents can also choose from public charter
schools, public magnet schools, online academies and
homeschooling. The styles of all of these schools are different
from one another, so that parents can enroll their
child in the one which best fits his or her learning needs.
During NSCW, thousands of events take place all
over the country in order to raise awareness of the
many school choices available to students. According
to an email sent to The Post from schoolchoiceweek.
com, Texas will see 3,957 events and activities take
place across the state. From to Dallas to Houston to
San Antonio, thousands of people will be participating
in these events, which will help raise awareness of the
different educational styles provided to Texas’ student
population, which—according to schoolchoiceweek.com,
hits numbers of more than 7.1 million.
A pdf. found on schoolchoiceweek.com detailed the
different educational institution types available to Texas
students, all of which are the topic of awareness for
NSCW. To start, there are public charter schools.
According to the pdf. these are schools which are free to
attend, available to all students, allowed more freedom in
their operation style and funded by taxpayers. The next
type of schools are public magnet schools. According
to the pdf. these types of schools are similar to charter
schools in that they are free to attend and funded by
taxpayers, but these type of schools are theme-specific,
focusing on subjects including math, science and the
performing arts. The next type of school is the private
school which, according to the pdf., can be faith-based
or non-sectarian. These are schools that charge tuition
for attendance, and in 2018 parents can now use taxpreferred
529 savings accounts to save up for the tuition
costs. The last two types of educational institution—
online learning and home education—are quite different
from the others previously discussed. Online learning,
according to the pdf., are like charter and magnet
schools in that they are free to attend and funded by taxpayers,
but the difference is that students who choose to
follow the online learning path can do their entire education
online. There are two types—online academies and
course access-and classes are given online or digitally.
Course access classes give parents the opportunity to
combine online learning and homeschooling or private
education. In homeschooling, parents make the choice
to teach their children at home and can choose to participate
in curriculum sharing groups, cooperatives and
online learning activities.
By Trishna Buch