ROSHAN KHAN: HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS PREPARED ME FOR SUCCESS

Posted on August 16, 2018

ROSHAN KHAN: HARMONY PUBLIC SCHOOLS PREPARED ME FOR SUCCESS

Starlee Coleman (left), Chief Executive Officer Texas Charter School Association and Roshan Khan (right), graduate of Harmony Science Academy – Pflugerville

On August 8, I had the opportunity to share my experience attending a top-notch public charter school with members of the Texas House of Representatives Public Education Committee. I am honored to share my testimony with here as I truly believe Harmony Public Schools prepared me for success.

My older brother and I were districted to attend Del Valle ISD. After one semester of kindergarten, however, my parents withdrew and homeschooled me for the rest of the year before enrolling me at Harmony School of Science for first grade. While Del Valle meets state standards, it didn’t have flexibility for someone like me who could already read and do algebra. My teacher found a temporary fix—sitting me in a higher grade’s English and Math classes—but my family knew from my brother’s experiences in fourth and fifth grade that I wouldn’t be challenged if I continued there.

At HSS, I skipped second and fourth grade, then went to Harmony Science Academy Pflugerville for middle and high school. It was there that I found school spirit to be less like a battleground and more like home, a diverse body of students and faculty, engaging classes and extracurricular activities, and passionate, genuine, friendly teachers. I had fun projects during school, and after hours, clubs like MathCounts, Robotics, Science Olympiad, Geography Bee, and much more. Even when I was just tagging along with my brother, even though I’m not majoring in a STEM field, I gained a well-rounded education and skills to guide me for a lifetime.

I learned to code and became fluent in Spanish. I attained a perfect PSAT score, thus becoming a National Merit Scholar, and nothing but 5’s on my eleven AP exams. I graduated as co-valedictorian and with over eighty college credit hours. I created a food donation program in my campus cafeterias, based on Texas Senate Bill 725, to reduce food waste.

Even though Harmony receives thousands less in funding per pupil than traditional public schools, our academic performance speaks for itself. Harmony won the prestigious Race to The Top federal grant in 2012; IDEA Public Schools, another Texas charter system, also won that year.

They say, in archery, when the arrow misses it is because you’re watching the bow and not the target. The target of charter schools are those children who would have no other choice but to attend their local, and often struggling, school. If I had been restricted to my local ISD, I would not be who I am now. Had I gone to a private school I believe I would not have felt as welcome among more privileged demographics, if my family could afford that, which we cannot.

I hope you see how charter schools are justified in their existence as they provide the chance for equity in education for disadvantaged students.

Visit bit.ly/2Oq52n3 and click on the "Public Education" video, and go to the 7 hour, 56 minute mark for her complete testimony.

-Roshan “Rosie” Khan, 16, is a 2018 graduate of Harmony Science Academy-Pflugerville. She is attending UT-Austin this fall to pursue a quadruple major in Economics, Government, International Relations, and Plan II Honors.

 

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of TX Charter Revolution