Let’s Ask Dr. Baum – Charter School

For our series “Let’s Ask Dr. Baum” we curate questions from parents through our Facebook page and from our Parent Info Nights. Visit our FACEBOOK PAGE and send us your questions for future “Let’s Ask Dr. Baum” blog posts. Here’s our Q & A session with Dr. Baum on the topic of Charter Schools.

Q. Dr. Baum, can you please give us the “what, why, and how” explanation of charter schools and NEOCA?

A. I get asked fairly frequently at our Parent Info Nights to explain exactly what a charter school is. Is it public? Is it private? Who pays for it? The answers to these questions are pretty straightforward. A charter school called a community school in Ohio, is a publically-funded school open to any student entitled to public education in Ohio. A useful link to learn more is https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Community-Schools. But let me summarize a few points.

Charter schools are intended to provide a public alternative (tuition-free, open to all students) to traditional public schools. The focus of charter schools can vary – some emphasize science or the arts, while others, often located in or adjacent to struggling school districts have experimented with different learning or success models. Our school, Northeast Ohio Classical Academy, (NEOCA) has committed via our “contract” or charter with the state to meet Ohio’s education standards and expectations. We will accomplish that via a “classical” curriculum; that is, a curriculum derived from the traditional educational model of Western Europe and the US. That educational model stresses texts, ideas, and pedagogies that can be traced back to Ancient Greece and Rome, and that have served as the models for most Western education until fairly recently.

Our charter itself is a 400-plus page document that lays out in great detail how precisely we intend to educate our students. It includes grade-by-grade and subject-by-subject course and class outlines. Our charter links to our program guide, a 600-plus page document published by Hillsdale College that forms the basis of our relationship with them. Thus, we can offer parents a very specific view of what an education for their children at NEOCA will look like at each step along the way, as a product of the chartering process in Ohio.

If you have additional questions about what it means for NEOCA to be a charter school and how this affects your student’s educational options, please feel free to reach out to me at david.baum@neocacademy.org. I look forward to hearing from you, and hope to meet you soon at one of our Parent Info Nights.

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