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Finding the right school for your children is one of the most difficult tasks parents face.

The days of simply sending kids to the neighborhood school down the street are long gone. There are now choices – lots of them.

Charter schools offer students an alternative form of public education, but they can be quite controversial.

In this week’s podcast, hosts Scott Lewis and Laura Kohn talk to Miles Durfee, a regional director of the California Charter School Association, about some of the hottest topics of the ongoing charter school debate.

One pervasive myth about charters schools, Durfee said, is that they’re an attempt to privatize public education. People see big foundations, business owners and philanthropists donating money to charter schools and they assume that means the charters are influenced or even run by those interests, and that some schools are even out to make money.

“That’s a myth, but it sounds good and so people continue to use it,” Durfee said.

He said the truth is that charters are mostly nonprofit public institutions authorized by the school district and overseen by charter boards.

Also on the podcast, Lewis and Kohn break down Betsy DeVos’ potential role as secretary of education.

DeVos is a controversial pick, in part, because she’s been an outspoken advocate of expanding school choice. Lewis and Kohn get into some of DeVos’ other contentions stances, and when she dodged some big questions during her underwhelming confirmation hearing.

Number of the Week

30 percent: That’s the percentage of the 122 charter schools in San Diego County that offer online courses only.

What’s Working

The Design39Campus in Poway was designed by teachers as a student-centered school offering project-based learning.

Subscribe to Good Schools for All on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream or download it here.

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