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Public Charter Schools Expanding at Record Pace Nationwide
posted by: Ruthie | January 24, 2013, 08:23 PM   

According to new reports, the number of public charter schools in the U.S. has surpassed 6,000 for the first time in the 20-year effort to provide students and teachers with effective options. Figures are based on estimates from the 2012 – 2013 school year. These 6,000 charter schools currently provide education to more than 2.3 million students, another record number.

Spurred by a combination of federal dollars from the Race to the Top grants and other state initiatives, states and districts are in a rush to create more public charter schools for students. Although California did not qualify for Race to the Top funding, the state is leading the nation in charter schools growth. California experienced an increase of 17% in 2012. As the second state to develop charter schools, California boasts 241 schools in the Los Angeles area alone.

However, with massive growth comes a question about maintaining quality. Charter schools have not received all positive reviews. Recent reports maintain that some charter schools are operating on the same levels of struggling traditional public schools. Others find that in specific states (New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana) charter schools out-performed traditional public schools.

Regardless of certain studies, parents continue to fight for options for their children. Matthew Wunder, executive director of the Da Vinci charter schools, said that despite the studies and the academic debates, parent demand is booming - and that's what matters most.

"While I think it's an important conversation to have, there's this practical side, one that says: 'You guys keep debating - you smart people in think tanks. But here's what I want for my kids,"' he said. "People vote with their feet."

The charter school boom is just another example of parents, students, teachers, and communities demanding educational options through the school choice policy platform. As National School Choice Week rapidly approaches, there is no better time to celebrate the innovation brought by choice in education. Whether choice involves charter schools, virtual schools, parochial and private schools, traditional public schools, or blended learning schools, it is fundamental to education, for both students and teachers.

What do you think about the growth of public charter schools?
Comment below.

Comments (2)Add Comment
Charter Madrassas
written by STUART KAUFMAN, January 27, 2013

Through the Charter Schools program, we are providing Islamists with a primary tool for destroying the US on our own dime. We are placing a weapon in the hands of our worst enemies, and here are supposedly educated, thinking people who are advocating for it. School choice, yes, absolutely. Charter Schools absolutely not, unless you can guarantee that it won't be used to teach Shariah. And you can't guarantee that.
written by jerrilee nevada, January 24, 2013

I think its awesome my daughter goes to a charter school in nevada explore knowledge Academy. The classroom sizes are much smaller so I don't have to fear her being passed up and lost like most kids are in the public schools. And the basis of the school is projects my daughter learns so mucg more by doing it hands on perfect they should keep growing so more kids can get a good education especially here in nevada

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