My daughter attends a charter school here in NYC. I have mixed feelings about charter schools in general, but I am THRILLED with my daughter's school.
Charters have control over the curriculum that public schools just don't have. And parents really need to pay attention to each schools slant.
My daughter's school has a "global" theme. There are some here who might not approve of some of the curriculum, but it is fine with me. In non-charter public schools, there are appropriate restrictions on the presentation of religious material. In my daughter's school, the diverse religious practices and traditions of the student body are all presented. And the religious practices and traditions of ancient cultures are presented as well. My daughter knows a great deal about Christian practices, Jewish practices, Muslim and Hindu and Buddhist beliefs and practices. She also has learned about Zeus. They also focus on earth science, and world languages, providing instruction in Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic.
From 1st grade on, they have been really diligent about teaching the scientific method. Students "ask a question"
create a hypothesis, which they write down. They then conduct experiments in groups, recording their observations. Then the groups compare their findings, and discuss and discrepancies in findings. I LOVE the way she is being taught science. It is not about facts. It is about the process of discovery. And as she gets older, she will understand that the discoveries that have been made over the years used the very same process that she mastered at age 6.
But the religious stuff is a little non-traditional.
A while back, in preparation for a playdate, she asked if the friend she was visiting celebrated various holidays. Since I had no idea about the parents' beliefs, I said I didn't know. My daughter suggested she could make a "Happy Eid" card, for which she would need play dough. I was a little confused, because I don't think of play dough as a traditional part of Muslim celebrations. But my 7 year old took a piece of play dough, rolled it into a little worm, shaped the worm into a crescent, and pressed it against a piece of colored paper, creating an image of the crescent moon. She then decorate the card with stars in a night sky, and wrote "Happy Eid."
I'm ok with all of this. But I did my research, and I knew what was going on in the school. There are some parents who mistakenly believe that charters are just "better" and don't question what is going on in the school.