posted September 13, 2004 by Research Staff
From statehouses to corporate boardrooms to community centers, Americans are nearly universally aligned in support of transforming public education. Dismayed by overcrowding, low test scores, and high dropout rates, many people advocate overhauling the educational system in our country. Yet, however unified Americans may be on the need for educational reform, their perspectives diverge greatly on how to achieve it. Recent proposals have ranged from increasing federal funding, to requiring more stringent teacher accreditation, to lengthening school days and terms. Despite more than a decade of discussion, legislative proposals, and counterproposals, many problems remain. Yet, as public debate rages on, a group of concerned parents and educators, advocating freedom and change, is already quietly revolutionizing public education. The persistence of these reformers has resulted in a compelling alternative to traditional public schools — charter schools.