Since 1992, California has allowed charter schools to be created within the state's public schools system. Under state law, a public charter school provides instruction in any of grades TK–12 and supposed to be created or organized by teachers, parents, community leaders or a community-based organization. As tax-supported public schools, charter schools are subject to many rules and regulations. Despite having existed for more than 3 decades, charter schools are still considered to be a work-in-progress by some observers, whereas others see them as innovative keys to the improvement of public education outcomes. It is probably safe to say that most people do not really understand that charter schools have become firmly institutionalized within our school districts or that charter schools enjoy enormous latitude in comparison with traditional public schools.
There are some students and parents who swear by charter schools. There are also some teachers, school administrators, and critics who swear AT them. The actual performance of charter schools matters more than anecdotes. If you know of a charter school that's doing a good job spending public money to educate kids, or if you want to provide information about charter school problems, please email us with specifics so we can share the information in posts here on our website.