Statement of Issue: Since the first charter school opened in Minnesota in 1992 (Minnesota Dept. of Education Website), America has seen charter schools move from a fringe educational alternative to an accepted and useful tool in public education. It is clear that charter schools are continuing to grow in popularity and student population, even with conflicting evidence about their effectiveness. This review will evaluate the necessity for strong educational leadership, a clear educational charter with a defined vision and financial backing, and built-in mechanisms and criteria for accountability in establishing an effective charter school.
History of Issue: Charter schools are generally attributed to an idea by
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If a student enrolls in a new charter school that does an even poorer job educating than its traditional counterpart, the student is then even further behind and potentially at-risk of long-term educational inadequacy. The students, rather than the school board or state department of education, are the ones who suffer at the hands of these failures. It is easy to note the rapid pace with which charter schools are growing, and it is likely they growing too fast at the moment to ensure each one is placed in a position to succeed. Because of that, many students are moving from unsuccessful traditional schools to unsuccessful charter schools. It is well-known that changing schools is generally hard on a student, and to change schools for the same level of education puts the students at a further disadvantage. If education is not improving in these schools, then the purpose for them evaporates. Initially, charter schools were trading accountability for their freedom and autonomy. When they were introduced to the public, Osborne notes there were assurances that “No charter would be allowed to fail its students year after year, as traditional public schools are often permitted to do. If their students were not learning, they would