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Charter Schools

Explainer

What Are Charter Schools?
This Education Week explainer answers frequently asked questions about charter schools.
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
School Choice & Charters Oklahoma Charter Schools Granted Local Tax Revenue in 'Seismic' Settlement
A groundbreaking settlement will fundamentally change the way charter schools are funded in Oklahoma, despite vehement opposition.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman, March 26, 2021
3 min read
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten speaks at Lincoln High School in San Diego during the State of the District Address on Oct. 20, 2015.
San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten speaks at a district high school in 2015.
Misael Virgen/San Diego Union-Tribune
Federal Biden's Pick for Deputy Education Secretary Faces Criticism Over Charter School Views
San Diego Superintendent Cindy Marten has been met with both support from educators and concern from some charter school supporters.
Evie Blad, March 10, 2021
6 min read
Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer for the Environmental Charter Schools in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Danielle Kelsick, Chief Academic Officer for the Environmental Charter Schools in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Nick Agro for Education Week
Curriculum Leader To Learn From Taking an Unapologetic Approach to Curriculum Overhaul
An academic leader at a charter school has overhauled curriculum—and proved that instructional rigor and anti-racism can co-exist.
Sarah Schwartz, February 17, 2021
11 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature on Jan. 12 at the statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address to state lawmakers on Jan. 12. She's pushing a major school choice expansion.
Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP
School Choice & Charters COVID-19 May Energize Push for School Choice in States. Where That Leads Is Unclear
The pandemic is driving legislators' interest in mechanisms like education savings accounts, but the growth may not be straightforward.
Andrew Ujifusa, January 27, 2021
8 min read
Nigena Livingston, founder and head of School at the URBAN ACT Academy in Indianapolis, Ind.
Nigena Livingston, founder and head of school at the URBAN ACT Academy in Indianapolis, makes swift decisions in responding to the threat of COVID-19 in her school community.
Courtesy of Nigena Livingston
School & District Management A School Leader Who Calls Her Own Shots on Battling the Coronavirus
A charter school founder uses her autonomy to move swiftly on everything from classroom shutdowns to remote schooling.
Denisa R. Superville, January 14, 2021
3 min read
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 23, 2020.
Miguel Cardona, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Education, speaks after being introduced at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Del., on Dec. 23, 2020.
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Federal Where Biden's Choice for Education Secretary Stands on Key K-12 Issues
Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, Biden's pick for education secretary, has taken positions on an array of K-12 issues.
Evie Blad, December 22, 2020
8 min read
School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor Are NOLA Charters a Mixed Bag?
To the Editor:
The opinion essay by Douglas N. Harris about how New Orleans’ education reforms post-Katrina are relevant to the COVID-19 era (“As Schools Recover After COVID-19, Look to New Orleans,” Sept. 30, 2020) highlights some basic improvements in the NOLA system but downplays the most significant aspects of those changes: the impact on people of color.
November 17, 2020
1 min read
School Choice & Charters Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
October 20, 2020
8 min read
A Los Angeles Unified School District student works on solving a math problem while taking an online class. During COVID-19, school districts across the country are facing increasing competition for students from virtual schools.
A Los Angeles Unified School District student works on solving a math problem while taking an online class. During COVID-19, school districts across the country are facing increasing competition for students from virtual schools.
Jae C. Hong/AP
School & District Management COVID-19 Fuels Big Enrollment Increases in Virtual Schools
Online school providers anticipated an onslaught of new students this fall and made plans to meet the growing demand.
Mark Lieberman, September 3, 2020
8 min read
President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during a roundtable discussion on the Federal Commission on School Safety Report at the White House in December 2018.
President Donald Trump listens as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during a roundtable discussion on the Federal Commission on School Safety Report at the White House in December 2018.
Evan Vucci/AP
Social Studies Trump Targets History Class as Well as School Choice in Bid for Second Term
As the president accepts his party’s nomination, his messaging reflects a bundle of priorities, from getting schools back open and pushing school choice to the hot-button issue of how American history is taught.
Andrew Ujifusa, August 26, 2020
11 min read
Former Vice President Joe Biden appears on video after receiving the delegate votes officially making him the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee at the party’s virtual convention.
Former Vice President Joe Biden appears on video after receiving the delegate votes officially making him the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee at the party’s virtual convention.
Brian Snyder/Pool via AP
Assessment How a Biden White House Could Diverge From Obama on K-12
There’s plenty of common ground, but on divisive issues like accountability and charters, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has signaled his own course.
Evie Blad, August 19, 2020
10 min read
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Education Is Not Scalable
To the Editor:
I enjoyed the video of Diane Ravitch (“Diane Ravitch in Her Own Words,” Education Week Video, April 10, 2020), a historian who has modified her perspective about education through the years. I’d like to broaden her perspective yet again.
May 12, 2020
1 min read
School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor Dispelling Charter Schools Myths
To the Editor:
In response to the recent opinion piece by Diane Ravitch, “The Coronavirus Just Might End School Privatization Nonsense,” (April 10, 2020) I feel compelled to correct several misstatements and inaccuracies that decry the critical role charter schools play in serving America’s public school students. While these typical union tropes are not original, they are particularly distasteful in this moment. We should be elevating everyone who is helping to take care of students.
April 28, 2020
1 min read
School Climate & Safety Opinion The Coronavirus Just Might End School Privatization Nonsense
The pandemic has boosted appreciation for public schools; the next step is greater funding, argues education historian and activist Diane Ravitch.
Diane Ravitch, April 10, 2020
6 min read