Charles Pierce has a clear message when it comes to his son and daughter’s future: “I’m going to do whatever I have to, to ensure that they get the education they need to be successful.”
As his children reached high school age, he faced a tough choice. His children were zoned to attend the very school he had gone to himself – a place that still holds a special place in his heart. But the school was on the brink of being taken over by the state for low performance. Charles knew it wouldn’t provide the challenge his children needed.
“Much of what kids are learning in school now, they didn’t teach us until college. I want my children to keep advancing as fast as education is advancing.” He was determined that his children would not have “middle school for high school” and set out to find a better fit for his family.
Charleston School for Math and Science (CSMS), a public charter school, proved to be just what he was looking for. But transferring out of the neighborhood district turned into a foot-dragging challenge: “It felt like the local school board was playing politics!” he says. After a summer-long battle, the Pierces were on the verge of home schooling when their transfer was finally approved, a mere three days before the semester began.
The Pierce family couldn’t be happier with their new choice and they especially love CSMS’s teachers. Charles says, “These teachers are genuinely excited from the beginning of school to the end of school. They challenge my kids, have top of the line equipment and materials, there’s no shortage of books, the teachers have wonderful attitudes…and they make sure parents are involved in education.”
And he sees the difference this environment is having on his kids: “I don’t have to tell my kids to do their homework anymore!” he exclaims. “They get home and jump on their iPads and tell me ‘Hey Dad! I need to do this for class and look up that for class.’ My kids love it there.” And as their motivation has increased, so have their grades. “It’s the best decision we could make for our kids,” says Charles. “Charter schools get an A+ in my book any day.”