Rather than litigate that charge as the nation's public school teachers' unions like to do to distract attention away from the prior parental right in the education of children, let's take a step back and consider how the charter school movement has fared during the past 2 decades, courtesy of Ted Rebarber and Alison Consoletti-Zgainer of the Center for Education Reform (CER).
- In 2012, there were 6,004 charter schools in the United States..
- The average charter school has a waiting list with the number of students whose names appear on waiting lists rising from 233 in 2009 to 277 in 2012. But, that's an average. New York City, for example, has 50k student names appearing on waiting lists.
- On average, 340 new charter schools open each year.
- In the 2012-2013 school year, 335 charter schools were established in states that CER rated as having "A" or "B" grade policies, while only 13 campuses opened in states with "D" or "F" ratings.
- 61% of charter schools have a student body of which the majority--60%+--qualifies for the federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program on the basis of low family income.
- Despite limited funding (because charter schools average 36% less revenue/student than do traditional public schools), charter schools generally offer students more extended instructional time than do traditional public schools. In 2012, 48% of charters offered longer school days. That's up from 23% in 2009.
Despite policies in many states that do not support charter schools, place limits on expanding the number of charter schools, and whose authorizers (e.g., local school boards) not independent and subject undue external pressure, the evidence suggests that charter schools on average have done very well during the past two decades. Concerning those authorizers, the good news is that in 2012, 60%+ of charter schools have been authorized by independent authorizers.
As tough a fight as the public schools' teaches unions have put to the charter school movement, the evidence suggests that the charter school movement is growing and will become a much more significant in students' education in the future. It's a real "pro-choice" option.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Ted Rebarber and Alison Consoletti Zgainer's research, click on the following link:
"2014 Survey of America's Charter Schools."