Response to the Associated Press Examination of the Racial Makeup of Public Charter Schools

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Public charter schools emerged more than two decades ago out of some of America’s most racially isolated communities, because the traditional public schools that families had been assigned to were failing to meet their needs. Free and open to all, charters today serve three million students who have chosen to be there. Families of all backgrounds expect their schools to be safe places, where children are known, supported, and challenged with high expectations. Too often, district schools are failing that test.

The bottom line is that parents choose charters because they work. According to a 2015 Stanford CREDO study, students enrolled in urban charter schools gained 40 additional days of learning in math per year and 28 additional days in reading compared to their district-run school peers. English Language Learners at charter schools gained 72 additional days of learning in math per year and 79 in reading. 

Academics, attorneys, and activists can hold any opinion they want about public charter schools and other families’ school choices. In the end, parents’ and students’ opinions are the only ones that matter. And every year, more parents are choosing charter schools.

About Public Charter Schools 
Public charter schools are independent, public, and tuition-free schools that are given the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. Since 2010, many research studies have found that students in charter schools do better in school than their traditional school peers. For example, one study by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University found that charter schools do a better job teaching low income students, minority students, and students who are still learning English than traditional schools. Separate studies by the Center on Reinventing Public Education and Mathematica Policy Research have found that charter school students are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, stay in college and have higher earnings in early adulthood.

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools 
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.