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Choice of Schools--Charter Schools
What States Are Doing
Pros & Cons
Selected Research & Readings
Other Web Sites
 Charter Districts
 Cyber Charters

Choice of Schools
Choice of Schools--Charter Schools--Charter Districts
Choice of Schools--Magnet or Specialized Schools
Choice of Schools--Vouchers

Charter schools are semi-autonomous public schools, founded by educators, parents, community groups, or private organizations that operate under a written contract with a state, district, or other entity. This contract, or charter, details how the school will be organized and managed, what students will be taught and expected to achieve, and how success will be measured. Many charter schools enjoy freedom from rules and regulations affecting other public schools, as long as they continue to meet the terms of their charters. Charter schools can be closed for failing to satisfy these terms.

As of the 2011-2012 school year, 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had enacted charter school legislation, with over 5,600 individual charter schools across the country. Charter school laws often vary from state to state, and often differ on several important factors, including who is allowed to authorize charter schools, how much money charter schools receive for operational and facilities expenses, and whether the teachers in a charter school have to be certified.

An enormous amount of studies have examined the impact of charter schools on student achievement, schools, and school districts. While it is difficult to draw any definitive conclusions on the impact of charter schools on student achievement, these studies shed light on who is attending charter schools, how charter schools operate, and how school districts are reacting to, and interacting with, charter schools.


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