Although most Americans lack a clear understanding of public charter schools, they “solidly support some of the key principles that govern the organizations,” concludes a new report by the Center for Education Reform, a pro-charter group based in Washington.
For instance, 69 percent of respondents agreed that “allowing the parent to choose from a number of public schools” was more desirable than “assigning children to one public school based solely on where they live,” according to a nationwide telephone survey of 800 adults, conducted last year. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Only 20 percent of respondents correctly identified charter schools as “public” schools. By contrast, 38 percent identified them as “private schools.”
In Wyoming, though, an unusually high 32 percent correctly labeled charters as “public” schools.
A version of this article appeared in the September 03, 2008 edition of Education Week