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Charter Schools: Helping Those Who Need It Most

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Charter schools are leading the way in improving public education in America, especially for students who are traditionally underserved. Charter school students in urban areas and in schools run by Charter Management Organizations show strong learning gains compared to their peers in district schools.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is there so much opposition to charter schools?
  2. What can public schools learn from charter schools?
  3. What can private schools learn from charter schools?

Additional resources

  • Read “L.A. could learn a lot about charter schools from the Big Apple” by Margaret Raymond, available here.
  • Read “It’s Time to Get Serious About Charter School Quality” by Margaret Raymond, available here.
  • Read "How Well Are Teachers Doing? by Margaret Raymond, available here

For much more, visit: credo.stanford.edu

View Transcript

Charter schools represent the largest attempt to innovate in U.S. public education in fifty years.

More than 7,000 now operate around the country educating over 3 Million students.

And since they’re required to be transparent about their students’ performance, we’ve learned that two groups of students consistently show strong learning gains relative to their peers in the district schools.

The first group are predominantly minority and low income students in urban charter schools. They make substantial gains in both math and reading compared to students in other schools in their area.

The second group are students enrolled in charter school networks called Charter Management Organizations, which are made up of three or more schools under common management.

Their students do even better than those in independent charter schools.

These networks learn what helps their students, and then replicate what works across all the schools they manage.

By identifying proven methods and spreading them to other schools, districts, and communities, charter schools are leading the way in improving education in America, especially for students who are traditionally under-served.