What is a charter school? Many people do not know the difference between a charter school and a regular public school. In this paper I will be explaining the purpose of a charter school, along with its history, how they function, the advantages, and disadvantages.
Charter Schools are schools of choice. Choice to parents, students, teachers, and administrators. Parents and students get to choose to enroll in a school that may offer a unique learning environment, alternative learning methodologies, etc. Teachers and administrators get more authority to make decisions than most traditional public schools. Basically, these schools are free from many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools.
Charter Schools tend to be small schools (median enrollment is 242 students compared to 539 in traditional public schools) and serve different communities with a wide variety of curriculum and instructional practices.
Charters are granted for a particular period of time, usually for 3-5 years, which are renewed after the end of the term by the granting entity. A charter is a performance contract that provides details about that school’s mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success – a business plan so to speak. These schools are under constant pressure to perform well, as they are accountable to their sponsor, usually a state or local school board for good academic results. The charter school administration must adhere to their charter contract. In fact, these schools enjoy greater autonomy in return for accountability. Instead of being asked to comply with various rules and regulations, they are measured on the yardstick of academic results and adherence to their charter.
Charter schools have shown promising, but mixed results over the years. Though more data is needed to get the overall picture, more or less these schools are faring well. On one hand there are success stories where some...