Charter Schools: Designed by Community

I was distressed to see "Arizona's Big Stakes in Charter Schools" (June 2), an article about charter schools that managed to perpetuate so many of the myths that have surrounded charters since their inception.

The fundamental flaw is that the Arizona implementation of charter schools [is pictured as providing] data relevant to the charter experience nationwide. The assumption is that the implementation of the charter concept is monolithic, when in fact it varies widely from state to state and community to community. The differences between states run the gamut, from how charters are granted, and by whom, to how they are funded, and by whom.

Here in Colorado, our charter schools receive their charters as well as their funding from the individual school districts. The statewide charter law provides guidelines for the structure of the charter as well as a minimum figure (often very minimum) for funding that comes from the district's own revenue stream. This leaves the decisions about the nuts and bolts of the contract and final funding to a negotiation process between the charter and its district.

The implementation of the charter concept is as unique as the communities and individuals who take on the task.

The truth is that the time for education as a political concept is long past. The charter school movement, when it is implemented apolitically, is a way of keeping education in the public sector while creating opportunities for communities to create unique educational environments that meet the needs of their children, not those of an impersonal political bureaucracy.

Thomas W. Elliot

Guffey, Colo.

Vice president, Lake George/Guffey Charter School governing board

Cyberspace journalism in review

I enjoyed your piece on the Online Journalism Review, "A Media Watchdog Let Loose on Cyberspace" (June 4), but I would like to correct the description of me as "editor of the notorious gossip site, tabloid.com."

The site in question is called Tabloid, and its URL is www.tabloid.net - not .com. And while I welcome notoriety, Tabloid is simply an international news site presented in the style of a pre-World War II metro newspaper. We have no gossip columnists and don't even cover the subjects of interest to fans of gossip - no showbiz stuff at all, in fact,and little in the way of domestic political squabbles.

What we do cover is world news, everything from the simmering war in Kosovo to weird-but-true articles about Aboriginal curses shutting down an Australian school. Tabloid gathers this news with some 20 correspondents around the globe, and our tough, well-written dispatches have been praised in the journalistic world.

Ken Layne

San Francisco

Editor, Tabloid News Services

Precursor to global citizenship

Today my daughter and I applied for Australian citizenship. After 17 years living in this country, we decided it was important for us to assume the responsibility of voting and serving on juries. We are both American citizens. We pay taxes in both the United States and Australia.

We have family in America, and feel loyalty to the country of our birth. We love America and don't want to give up our citizenship. Dual citizenship is a privilege for which we feel extremely grateful.

The Opinion page's "Dual Citizenship Is Dangerous" (April 29) criticized dual citizenship, citing the problem of loyalty should a war break out. Dual citizenship, I feel, is a precursor to global citizenship. We are citizens of the world and need to act as the brothers and sisters that we all are.

Sancy Nason Childs

Rocky Hall, Australia

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