NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Charter Schools Proving Accountable, Worthy

January 29, 1999

Only a minuscule number of charter schools have been shut down for not fulfilling their promises. Observers say the vast majority are doing very well, indeed.

  • Today about 1,100 charter schools operate in 29 states and the District of Columbia -- not counting the 29 that have been closed for failing to meet state standards.
  • Enrollment at the charters is about 250,000 students out of a total U.S. student population of around 47 million.
  • A report from the Center for School Change at the University of Minnesota found that students from a number of charter schools in different states experienced gains of 1.3 to 2 academic years in various subjects.

These public schools -- which receive state charters and are often able to avoid educational bureaucracies, burdensome regulations and teachers' unions -- first opened in Minnesota seven years ago.

Source: Karen Pennar, "Make Charter Schools Accountable, Too," Business Week, February 1, 1999.


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