Yesterday, I had the chance to interview and speak with Judge Gene Thibodeaux. He is a part of the Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation and is a proponent for the education that charter schools provide.

I have to admit, I have been in Lake Charles since 2001, when the first charter school opened up. It was truly an exciting moment in the city. However, there were still plenty of questions unanswered and talk in the streets. Whether the talk was from people who were against it or were just confused is another question. But after my conversation with Judge Thibodeaux yesterday, I have a better understanding of what they offer.

Here are a few of the questions I asked along with some of the answers.

  • What is a charter school?
    • A charter school is a public school that is independently operated.
    • Because of this independence, we have the freedom to design our classrooms to meet our students’ needs.
  • Why choose a charter school?
    • It’s about school choice – charter schools offer families an alternative to traditional schools
    • We instill an all-inclusive school community
    • We use a proven, data-driven education model
    • We have the latest technology in all classrooms
    • We are held accountable for continuous student improvement

There is also no cost to attend. However, there are standards expected from the students. Parents are also required to be involved not only with their kids, but also with the school. My understanding at the end of the conversation was accountability. The students are expected to be held accountable for their discipline and grades, and the school is expected to deliver scholars who will one day lead our country.

If I had a school-age child now, I would heavily weigh the options and decide what's best for my child. After my conversation yesterday with Judge Thibodeaux, this would definitely be one to consider.

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