Corean Bevly
“My response is: you can learn anywhere you go. It’s up to you to put your mind toward what you want to do. Public schools can be just as good as any other schools; it is just up to the individual in how they want to apply themselves. You have to apply yourself in anything you do, regardless to your neighborhood or community you’re in -you must apply yourself. It is up to the individual.”

Patrick Easley
“I think that charter schools do a better job teaching than public schools because students around the world have to go to public schools and they do well, even better, than the United States. So I think it might be the teachers rather than the schools.” (Easley is a former youth president of the West side NAACP)

Connie Jackson
“I think charter schools are better than the regular public schools because they have longer school days for the kids. And they have zero-tolerance levels for misbehavior. Any disciplinary actions that needs to be taken with the students is not tolerated, unlike it is in the public schools. They also make sure the kids are well-educated, and they have low student-to-teacher ratio. In the public schools you can have one teacher teaching 30- to 40-plus students at one time. The charter schools allow them to gauge where the students are lacking and provide them with more one-on-one training.”

Dr. Patricia Easley
“I feel some charter schools do a good job of addressing specific educational needs. I do not think charter schools as a whole could ever replace the public schools. Public schools provide a well-rounded education for all students. But there is a place for specialty schools, for example, Jones Commercial High School, which was here and is no longer here. So if there was place for a charter school to replace Jones, that would be a good example of meeting a specific need.”

Patrice Ball-Reed (attorney )
“I think charter schools do have a purpose. Some of them have sufficient funding and resources to make things happen for students, and I think they are trying some new educational tools that are helpful. But, if they could spread that across the whole system it would help. The regular schools do serve a purpose. You have some very good teachers in the regular schools, and I think if you involved the community and got parents more interested, the regular schools could work as well. I think it depends on what area you are talking about. Some of the charter schools are doing an excellent job. Some are just doing O.K.’d’d because they just are not filling the purpose of the community needs. So it really depends on what charter school you’re looking at. There are a lot of good regular schools. The magnet schools are good. The classic schools are good because they are focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic – those basics that students need. They are adding some art and some music, so if you got a well-rounded student you’ve got a good regular school.”