Socrates Academy is a North Carolina Public Charter School. The School offered Kindergarten and First Grade classes for the first time in the 2005-2006 academic year.
The mission of the Socrates Academy is to work in partnership with parents and community to encourage our students to reach their full potential by developing critical, analytical thinking skills and becoming self-confident in a high achievement, multicultural, disciplined environment. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics both in English and Greek through the use of the Socratic Method.
Mr. Larry Peroulas, Mr. John Couchell, Dr. Antonis Stylianou
History of the Charter School Movement
The charter school movement has roots in a number of other reform ideas, from alternative schools, to site-based management, magnet schools, public school choice, privatization, and community-parental empowerment. The term "charter" may have originated in the 1970s when New England educator Ray Budde suggested that small groups of teachers be given contracts or "charters" by their local school boards to explore new approaches. Albert Shanker, former president of the AFT, then publicized the idea, suggesting that local boards could charter an entire school with union and teacher approval. In the late 1980s Philadelphia started a number of schools-within-schools and called them "charters." Some of them were schools of choice. The idea was further refined in Minnesota where charter schools were developed according to three basic values: opportunity, choice, and responsibility for results.
In 1991 Minnesota passed the first charter school law, with California following suit in 1992. By 1995, 19 states had signed laws allowing for the creation of charter schools, and by 2003 that number increased to 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Charter schools are one of the fastest growing innovations in education policy, enjoying broad bipartisan support from governors, state legislators, and past and present secretaries of education. In his 1997 State of the Union Address, former President Clinton called for the creation of 3,000 charter schools by the year 2002. In 2002, President Bush called for $200 million to support charter schools. His proposed budget called for another $100 million for a new Credit Enhancement for Charter Schools Facilities Program. Since 1994, the U.S. Department of Education has provided grants to support states' charter school efforts, starting with $6 million in fiscal year 1995.
How is a Charter School different from a Public School? Click here to learn more >>
Charter School Benefits
The intention of most charter school legislation is to:
Increase opportunities for learning and access to quality education for all students
Create choice for parents and students within the public school system
Provide a system of accountability for results in public education
Encourage innovative teaching practices
Create new professional opportunities for teachers
Encourage community and parent involvement in public education
Leverage improved public education broadly
People establish charter schools for a variety of reasons. The founders generally fall into three groups: grassroots organizations of parents, teachers and community members; entrepreneurs; or existing schools converting to charter status. According to the first-year report of the National Study of Charter Schools, the three reasons most often cited to create a charter school are to:
Realize an educational vision
Serve a special population
Parents and teachers choose charter schools primarily for educational reasons--high academic standards, small class size, innovative approaches, or educational philosophies in line with their own. Some also have chosen charter schools for their small size and associated safety (charter schools serve an average of 250 students).