Charter growth rate slows

Nearly 3,000 charter schools are now operating, says Center for Education Reform. Ten percent opened this year, which represents a decline in the growth rate.

Among the key findings from the 2004 Annual Survey of America’s Charter Schools, charter schools are serving a disproportionately high numbers of low-income, at risk and minority students. They use a wider variety of innovate curricula, are smaller, give more instructional time, attract more students than they can serve and still receive fewer dollars than non-charter public schools.

Nine percent of charters authorized since 1992 have closed.

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  1. Wacky Hermit says:

    “Nine percent of charters authorized since 1992 have closed.”

    Does anyone know what the comparable statistic is for public non-charter schools? for private schools?

  2. PJ/Maryland says:

    I wonder if counting the number of charter schools might be a bit misleading. I can see that some charters would start small and increase their enrollment over time. So, it may be that the number of students in charter schools rose, say, 20% this year.

    On the other hand, there are limits to how many students will move to a charter school, and how many dedicated teacher/admin types are willing to jump through the hoops necessary to start one. I’d like to think that the existing charters are providing escape routes to kids whose own public schools are the worst of the bunch… but that’s probably not the case.

  3. It’s obvious that the growth rate would slow down. A 10% increase of 100 takes less effort than a 10% increase of 1,000. As well, growth rates are not always linear. Growth in humans, for example, goes in starts and spurts.

    As far as charter schools being closed, its difficult to compare this to non-charter public schools. Non-charter public schools only close if there are a lack of schools or the building is no longer suitable (size, safety, etc.). They are not closed if they don’t perform well.

    Which is a pity.

  4. >> Nine percent of charters authorized since 1992 have closed.

    That’s really excellent news, since it means 91% are still in operation.