When i was just a small child of around 12 years old (not unnecessarily small, just child-sized) I spent my summer going back and forth on one of the most important decisions of my life, or at least thats how it seemed. This was the monumental summer between elementary and middle school, i was finally making my way out of the amateur halls of elementary school into the big leagues. The difficulty came when i realized how many different options i had. The most sensible decision seemed to be to follow my brothers into Angevine Middle School, which my elementary was a feeder to and which was in my hometown. Now without all of the other factors present it would have made sense for me to choose Angevine, but all of the other factors were present, so the decision wasn’t so simple. Because of these other factors ( which are too unimportant and boring to get specific about) Angevine was off of the list. My next two choices were Louisville Middle School, a public school, and Peak to Peak, a charter school. Now when my tiny little mind tried to decide between these two schools i didn’t weigh my options depending on the different ideas of public and charter schools, instead i thought about which friends were going where, the mascots of the school, the color of the buildings, normal unimportant childish things for a childish child to consider. Eventually i decided that Louisville would be the better choice for me, mainly because being a pirate sounded significantly more exciting than being a puma (pyoo-ma? pu-ma? i still don’t know how to pronounce it). Ultimately i think that this was the best decision that i could have made, but what would i have been like had i gone to Peak to Peak instead? Peak to Peak’s mission focused on a liberal arts college preparatory curriculum, which at the time i didn’t really consider, but looking back now it’s interesting to think about what this really means. From what i understand about Charter schools, the main idea is that the schools are publicly funded, are still part of the public education system, and focus on producing some specific result other than public schools that focus on a broader and more general education. It’s hard for me to distinguish between these different types of education. I do understand that a charter school focuses on one specific goal and has a “charter” that states exactly what that goal is, but i don’t understand how they reach it. The end is clear, but the means aren’t. My cousin went to Peak to Peak and from his stories i’ve decided that it sounded like a school full of honors classrooms, but other than that it just sounded like Louisville Middle to me. I guess that i understand how this makes sense with Peak to Peaks specific charter, but i’m still lost as to how many different ideas can exist within a charter, and how these ideas evolve and form schools. This is a complete confession of ignorance surrounding Charter Schools, and i’d like someone to help me undertand them, and to help me pronounce puma correctly.