NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 6, 2006

Enough public schools are failing, says Investors Business Daily (IBD), to make it clear that the entire public education system in this country is in decline. One way to improve public education is from within the system. Charter schools, which operate independently of local systems, often succeed where conventional public schools fail.

According to Danielle Georgiou of the National Center for Policy Analysis:

  • Charter schools thrive in part because they are free from much of the tangle of rules and regulations that burden public schools, giving teachers some latitude to innovate.
  • Test scores at charter schools are rising sharply and students at these schools are more likely to be proficient in reading and math than students in neighboring conventional schools, achieving the greatest gains among African American, Hispanic and low income students.
  • The performances have not gone unnoticed; there wasn't a single charter school in the United States in 1991, yet in the last decade the demand for quality education set off a wave across the land.

Startup costs often present a lofty hurdle for groups that dream of charter schools in their communities, explains IBD. Developers can bridge this gap by building new facilities or renovating old ones and turning them over to schools.

Given how well charter schools perform, it's not surprising they can be a strong attraction for parents who are making decisions about moving, says IBD. Chicago-area builder Cambridge Homes, for instance, says it added a charter school to a northeast Illinois housing development because it's part of a "quality of life package" that people are looking for.

Source: Editorial, "Student Housing," Investor's Business Daily, March 3, 2006.


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