What are Charter Schools and why are they so unique?

Essay by jeslawreUniversity, Bachelor'sB, March 2003

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What are Charter Schools and why are they so unique?

Since their arrival on the national level in 1991, many papers, studies and analysis have been conducted on the charter school phenomenon: an educational innovation that has skyrocketed from the one school in 1992, to more than 2000 schools operating for the 2001-2002 school year. Charter schools typically have one particular mission; to comply with parent's proposals and demands, whether it's a gifted program for a special needs child or a usual second chance curriculum, of having their children succeed and achieve more in a healthier environment without having to deal with the average bureaucracy that comes with public schools.

However many questions float in the air about charter schools. There are so many procedures and guidelines to run a public school, many doubt the strength and durability of the newer education reform:

The main question one often asks is; what is a charter school? Charter schools are independent public schools, designed and operated by parents, educators, community leaders and educational entrepreneurs (Reform).

They are sponsored by designated local or state educational organizations that monitor their quality and integrity. Charter schools offer educators the freedom to conceive and execute academic requirements by methods much different than the traditional bureaucratic red tape that hog ties pubic schools (Reform).

Freed from such micromanagement allows charter schools to deliver programs tailored to educational excellence.

Secondly, where did charter schools come from? The charter school theory is actually a 200 year old effort to expand opportunities in education (Ebscohost). However, the real experience did not begin until the late 1960's, when parents and innovative educators came together to design education options for students. The state of Minnesota set the first example, and then 36 states would soon follow. By broading education opportunities, schools were...