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In education policy circles, the “charter schools are a plan by ultra-conservatives to privatize the public school system” is a conspiracy theory that is quite popular. Ember Reichgott Junge’s book Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story puts that theory to rest.
Co-location is often seen as a symbol of what is wrong in public education. In the particular instance of Democracy Prep and ACE, however, co-location offers a tale not of what's wrong about the state of public education, but about what's right -- about what happens when accountability works, when consistently failing schools are shut down and good schools are allowed to expand.
This study investigates whether student achievement varies during the institutional life span of charter schools by comparing them to new public schools. The results show that there is little evidence that new public schools struggle with initial start-up issues to the same extent as new charter schools.
Even as charter schooling has been at the forefront of education reform efforts, we know remarkably little about how these schools approach this critical dimension of education. What have charter schools done with the opportunity to rethink civic education? Are there lessons to be learned? Are there challenges that impede their ability to teach citizenship?