Resources and articles about Untied States Charter Schools

Charter School Resources   
US Charter School Web Site
Summary: Charter schools are innovative public schools providing choices for families and greater accountability for results.
US Charter Schools Web Site

For the legal definition of a charter school in a particular state, consult that state's charter school law through our State Profiles area. We also provide a sampling of other charter school Definitions. To find research on charter schools, visit our Resources area.
The intention of most charter school legislation is to:
  • Increase opportunities for learning and access to quality education for all students
  • Create choice for parents and students within the public school system
  • Provide a system of accountability for results in public education
  • Encourage innovative teaching practices
  • Create new professional opportunities for teachers
  • Encourage community and parent involvement in public education
  • Leverage improved public education broadly
People establish charter schools for a variety of reasons. The founders generally fall into three groups: grassroots organizations of parents, teachers and community members; entrepreneurs; or existing schools converting to charter status. According to the first-year report of the National Study of Charter Schools, the three reasons most often cited to create a charter school are to:
  • Realize an educational vision
  • Gain autonomy
  • Serve a special population
Parents and teachers choose charter schools primarily for educational reasons--high academic standards, small class size, innovative approaches, or educational philosophies in line with their own. Some also have chosen charter schools for their small size and associated safety (charter schools serve an average of 250 students).

For more detailed information on each state and the status of its charter school efforts, please see our State Profiles area or visit the Center for Education Reform's Web site.