Charter Schools and Minority Achievement

Charter schools are independent public schools created through formal agreement with a state or local sponsoring agency. Each school is designed and operated by parents, community members, or entrepreneurs, and is allowed to operate free from most state and local regulations governing schools—including staffing, curriculum, school calendar, resource allocation, governance, and school/classroom sizes. Foremost, charter schools are an organizational and governance innovation intended to encourage multiple stakeholders to build schools of choice that are linked to new locally defined accountability structures, including the creation of higher-quality schooling options that could serve disadvantaged families in neighborhoods where quality options have traditionally been scarce.

Over the past 20 years, charter schools have become a significant movement in public education. Both the popularity of the reform and the number ...

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