Charter Schools

It used to be a given: When your kids reached school age, they'd strap on their backpacks and head for the neighborhood elementary school. Or, you'd pay a hefty tuition to send them to private school.

In the last two decades, a third option has emerged. Today, there are more than 6,000 charter schools in the country. And lately, they've been the subject of passionate and often acrimonious debate about the right way to fix public education in America.


For the failing school system of Newark, NJ, the $100 million lifeline should have been the answer to its problems. When Mark Zuckerberg teamed up with then Newark mayor Cory Booker and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, they had a plan, the funds and a lot of people watching. With this combination of money and political backing, how could they fail? 

Zuckerberg, Booker, and Christie not only wanted to fix a local problem, but to also find a solution for struggling schools nationwide. Despite their strong team, successful reforms proved elusive.

The University of Arkansas today released what it calls a "first ever" study exploring the relationship between charter school funding and student achievement.

Flickr user Bill Selak / cc

In California schools, as of last week, teacher tenure is unconstitutional. That was the finding of a state judge who said it adversely affected poor and minority students

Eileen Pace / TPR News

Following a series of reports released by Texas State Board of Education Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff on charter school financial accountability, a state lawmaker said he’s looking into legislation for the 2015 session that will address the issue.

According to an analysis released by Ratliff last week: