Charter schools are new, innovative public schools that are
accountable for student results. They are designed to deliver programs
tailored to educational excellence and the needs of the communities they
Charter schools are one of the fastest and most successful growing
reform networks in the country. The first charter school opened its
doors in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992 and now, a decade and a half later,
nearly 4,6000 charter schools are serving over 1.4 million children
across 40 states and the District of Columbia.
Different from traditional public schools, charter schools operate on
three basic principles: choice, accountability, and freedom.
Charter schools give families an opportunity to pick
the school most suitable for their child's educational well-being.
Teachers choose to create and work at schools where they directly shape
the best working and learning environment for their students and
Charter schools are judged on how well they
meet the student achievement goals established by their charter
contract. Charter schools must also show that they can perform according
to rigorous fiscal and managerial standards.
While charter schools must adhere to the
same major laws and regulations as all other public schools, they are
freed from the red tape that often diverts a school's energy and
resources away from educational excellence.