What’s a charter school? Long since the first state charter law passed in 1991, a majority of adults still have little or no clue, a new poll suggests.
Almost 60 percent of respondents to the national survey said they knew “very little” or “nothing at all” about the independent public schools.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents guessed that charters are private or religious schools.
The poll, commissioned by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a Washington research and advocacy group, was to be released May 6 to coincide with National Charter Schools Week.
Conducted in late March, the survey included 800 registered voters nationwide. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Despite the public-awareness challenge, Nelson Smith, the president of the charter alliance, said he was encouraged by another finding: Seventy-seven percent of the respondents either strongly or somewhat favor giving “parents more options when choosing a public school for their children.”