Charter school leaders come together to showcase what they have to offer

Updated: 03/22/2014 11:43 PM
Created: 03/22/2014 6:54 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath

Some parents say charter schools just offer a better education and on Saturday scores of people turned out and signed up.

It was a public charter school fair. A chance for charter schools to showcase what they offer and an opportunity for parents to take a closer look. A lot of those parents told us they want more than a traditional public school offers.

This is happening at a time when a city school is in talks to become a charter school. East High is one of the state's underperforming schools and could close or become a charter. News10NBC spoke with parents about their reaction to this different kind of learning environment.

Shatoya Heckstall says she's came to sign her daughter up for a better education.

“She has a lot of talent and I just want her to be able to evolve herself at an institution more focused on the arts, a charter school,” said Heckstall. “I want her to have the best and more. I've heard good things about it.”

Which is why Heckstall and other parents came to check out the different charter school options in the city.

Parent Leroy Lefleur says, "Some of them have a lot of different kinds of programs, smaller classes and they seem to offer a different kind of interaction with your kids so we're still learning about it."

E3 Rochester Chairman Joe Klein says, “There's better training, all the systems are aligned. Values are instilled like respect, compassion, integrity, perseverance, hard work.”

But not all school officials are completely sold on the idea. Rochester School Board President Van White says charter schools don't necessarily produce more successful students. He also says charter schools are supposed to provide options, but are not meant to be a substitute for traditional public schools.

Although her daughter likes her current school, Heckstall feels she needs more of what charter schools offer.

“She needs a lot of structure so that's my big focus,” said Heckstall.

White says he's not against charter schools, but he says the most successful students have good parents and good teachers.

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