Charter Schools Vs. Public Schools

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At the foundation of the American public school system is the belief that every child deserves a quality education. To this end, the public school system in America has undergone many reforms. One of which has been charter schools. Charter schools are independent public schools of choice working under the auspices of a charter and not governed by the board of education. The charter can be written by parents, teachers, school administrators, community leaders, educational businesses, etc. It determines the school’s guiding principles, management and accountability systems. The state approves the charter and provides funding for the school. Families choose these schools for their children. (“Resistance Hinders Success,” 2004) Charter schools differ from traditional public schools on three basic principles: accountability, choice and autonomy. Charter schools are held accountable for their ability to educate students, management of finances and handle operations. If they do not meet the guidelines established by the charter they are closed. They give families a choice as to what school their children will attend. Finally, charter schools have more autonomy than traditional public schools. They are able to make their own decisions regarding curriculum and school governance and can focus on academic achievement instead of bureaucracy. (“Resistance Hinders Success,” 2004) Ray Budde first introduced the idea of charter schools in the United States in 1974.
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