One of the humblest school leaders I have met to date—Marcos Martinez, the chief executive officer and founder of Poder Academy—has achieved what few in the state of Wyoming have. Marcos found a way to not only open two of the four public charter schools in the entire state, but did so in collaboration with the district, and in a state where over 35 percent of its population lives in a rural community.
Phi Delta Kappan (PDK) recently found that 17 percent of parents would choose a public charter school for their child if location and capacity were not an issue. And just last month, EdChoice found that 16 percent of parents would like to send their child to a public charter school—which is up nine percentage points since 2013. Together, these two surveys indicate that the potential number of charter school students in the U.S. is between 8 and 8.5 million. In 2016-17, there were just over 3 million charter school students. This means that the potential size of the charter school sector—based on current parent demand—is almost three times larger than what it is today. In order to satisfy this demand, the sector would need to open, and find suitable homes for, thousands of charter schools over the next 5 to 10 years.
EdChoice just released its latest survey on K-12 education, parent experiences, and school choice and one thing is clear – parent demand for charter schools continues to exceed the supply. According to this survey, if they could select any type of school, 16 percent of parents would select a charter school in order to obtain the best education for their child. (Bear in mind, that just six percent of public school students currently attend a charter school.) Of course, there are plenty of other interesting takeaways from this survey, but this is the one that catches my eye.
Posted in Research
Standing at the podium at graduation, one LEARN 6 eighth grader Farhan explained, “Being a military child, I try not to get too close to my friends—with the idea of moving looming over my head. But at LEARN, you can’t help but feel like LEARN is your second family.”
The success of the public charter school movement is rooted in the energetic work of talented educators, the courageous choices of parents, the unique talents of our students, and the generous giving of Americans who believe that every child should have access to a first-rate education. Over the past month, several of the movement’s leading financial supporters have made news.
Posted in monthly newsletter
In my first six months of working as a Communications and Marketing Assistant at the National Alliance, I have supported numerous initiatives in efforts to improve the charter school movement. I have enjoyed my time working on projects such as National Charter Schools Week, our National Charter Schools Conference, and other national campaigns like our annual #Back2School week, but none were as eye-opening as my first charter school visit to Eagle Academy Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Eagle Academy serves pre-k through third grade students with a mission “... to build the foundation for a promising future for all students in a rich, robust learning environment that fosters creativity and problem-solving abilities.”
Over the next four weeks, the National Alliance will feature a compilation of blogs and stories to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the 30 percent of students attending public charter schools of Hispanic descent. Check back between Friday, September 15 and Friday, October 13 to see new features in our #HispanicHeritageMonth. Or follow us at @charteralliance to keep up with the latest in the series!
Posted in Hispanic Heritage Month
The first few weeks of school are an exciting time at Odyssey School of Denver, a K-8 public charter school with an Expeditionary Learning curriculum, as teachers focus their beginning-of-year efforts on building “crew,” or homeroom, culture. Students agree on new crew courtesies to support each other, participate in overnight adventure trips to build peer and teacher connections, and begin to understand what’s to come in their learning expedition. This curricular structure of long-term, in-depth study offers real-world connections, inspiring students to produce high-quality, complex work.
Posted in Back to School
Almost two years after the reauthorization of ESEA, improvements made to the Charter Schools Program (CSP) in response to our advocacy are finally going into effect. On September 28, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the first round of CSP Grants to State Entities, as well as Replication and Expansion Grants (CMO), and Credit Enhancement facilities funding.
It’s back to school season! Some of you have been back in class for more than a month. Others got started more recently. And for many schools affected by the recent hurricanes, the start of the new school year has been difficult and chaotic. But as we approach the end of September, I hope you all are energized and engaged for the year ahead!
Posted in monthly newsletter