For many years, I believed the public school system was the correct way to go for a proper
education. It was a belief that was in my family for generations. I broke the cycle when I began
working for Friendship Public Charter School (FPCS), formerly known as Edison Schools founded by Chris Whittle and Benno C Schmidt, Jr. As an employee, I had first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of what a charter school would provide to students. So, I went from selling a charter school education to other parents, to selling it to myself.
As a mother, I appreciated the fact there was a school system trying to offer the inner city youth the same education being offered to their white counterparts. The public schools in the white communities offered totally different classes than the public schools in black communities. In addition, you had to go through an interview process to receive acceptance into the public schools in the white communities. Public school means it’s free, so why should a student living outside of the white communities have to interview to attend?
According to FCPS, their curriculum is a college preparatory curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards to ready students at each level for the rigors of college and careers. Also, Apple Mac computers were being placed in every household. Computers were given to ensure that every student had access to the internet just like private school students. Computers being placed in a household, which was unheard of during that particular time. FPCS was incorporating dance classes such as hip hop, ballet, jazz, and modern dance. There were classes focusing on robotics and technology. Before and after school programs were being offered with fees that went according to the parent’s income.
In addition, the expectations for the teachers were better. Millions of dollars were spent on training for the teachers. FCPS, would send their teachers across the country to different Professional Developments to ensure they were the cream of the crop. My children excelled in the charter school setting. They enjoyed being challenged and having teachers that genuinely cared. My daughter went on to enroll at Bennett College for Women in N.C. and my son now attend Westfield High School in Chantilly, Virginia. Former teachers of my children from FCPS are now a part of our family.