Charter schools, introduced to the U.S. in the 1980s, were conceived as laboratories of experimentation in instruction, integration, and school leadership. Over time, they have become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional public schools. As of this year, charters account for approximately six percent of all public school students, and President Obama’s proposed budget includes $375 million for charter schools—a 48 percent increase from the previous year. What does the future hold for this model in American schooling? What are charter schools doing well and where do they need to do better?
On April 26, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a forum to examine charter schools in America. This event, the seventh in the A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy series, convened leaders from various perspectives to explore the role, effectiveness, and future of charter schools in the U.S. education system.