Get Up to Speed: Top 10 Recommended Charter School Reads

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Charter school student reading overlaid with National Alliance branding

Public charter schools have been serving K-12 students for more than 25 years and one of our biggest challenges remains to educate the public, lawmakers, and reporters on what charter schools actually are.

Charter schools are tuition-free schools that have open enrollment. Parents elect to enroll their child into a charter school because they believe it is the best local school for their child. Charter schools have more freedom and autonomy than district schools to create their own curriculum, hire their own staff, and create a specific school culture in exchange for an authorized charter that they are held accountable to by their school board, local authorizer and parents. Most importantly, all charter schools are public schools. There is no such thing as a private charter school.

Furthermore, numerous studies from CREDO at Stanford University have demonstrated that charter school students—especially students of color—often outperform their district school peers academically. Urban charter schools significantly outperform their district school peers in reading and math. And there are so many different CREDO studies (amongst others) that demonstrate similar outcomes!

With the above basic framework in mind, check out my top 10 recommended reads to learn more about charter schools:

History of Education Reform

Defining Public Charter Schools

Obstacles Facing the Movement

2020 Democratic Candidates and Charter Schools

Pushback on Charter Myths

Notable Editorials

Whether you are a parent, teacher, writer, or policymaker, it is a civic duty to advocate for kids who do not have access to quality local schools. Their futures depend on us. Charter schools are an incredible solution to the opportunity gap that exists across America. And who wouldn’t want to be a part of closing that?


Shaelyn Macedonio is the senior manager of media relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. 

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