The number of charter schools has grown steadily since the first one opened in 1992. By 2013-14, over 5 percent of public school students in the United States attended charter schools. In some districts, charter schools serve a high proportion of public school students—91 percent in New Orleans and 55 percent in Detroit in 2013-14. But they served 1 percent or less of public school students in districts such as Richmond, Virginia, and Topeka, Kansas in 2012-13. Some cities and states have no charter schools at all.
Our research guide can help journalists better understand: governance, operations, finances, achievement, innovation, teachers, families and diversity at charter schools, as well as public opinion about charter schools.
This checklist is designed to help elected officials and their staff, regulators and school district administrators think through decisions about charter schools in their jurisdictions.