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Charter schools offer parents a choice of schools, thereby introducing competition among schools, which may be the best way to achieve the reforms so long desired in our education system.

Competition among U.S. universities and colleges has made them world leaders. The lack of competition at the primary and secondary levels has caused these schools to lag behind schools in other countries.

"Charter schools in ... 72 cities now enroll 10 percent or more of public school children, ... according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Fifty-five percent ... are black or Hispanic ... and more than a third qualify for free or reduced-price lunches." (New York Times, May 1, 2010)

"Charter spending constituted less than one-quarter of 1% of education spending in the stimulus package." ("The Union War on Charter Schools", Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2009)

The quality of charter schools varies widely. But, philanthropists like Gates (Microsoft), Broad (home building), Dell (Dell), Fisher (Gap) and the Walton family (Walmart) are funding efforts such as the New Schools Venture Fund to identify and replicate the best charter schools.

As an example, Harlem has 24 charter schools that select students by lottery and educate about 7,700 of the community's 50,000 school-age kids. In 2009 they received 11,000 applications for 2,000 available enrollments. Still, the United Federation of Teachers is trying to block this popular school choice option for underprivileged families.

There is no lack of demand for charter schools, only a lack of supply.

(See "Education")

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Read how the Friendship Public Charter School built a "Performance-Management System to Support Students and Teachers".

Friendship Public Charter School, "(founded 1998) is the largest public charter school in DC, operating five campuses with more than 4,000 students in grades pre-K through 12."


Go to http://www.vppartners.org/portfolio/portfolio-i/friendship-public-c....

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