Policy Documents

Charting New Territory: Tapping Charter Schools to Turn Around The Nation’s Dropout Factories

Melissa Lazarin –
June 1, 2011

Efforts to turn around the nation’s 5,000 worst-performing schools have had mixed results, and only 5 percent of schools receiving a School Turnaround Grant have chosen to convert to a charter school, writes Melissa Lazarin in a study for the Center for American Progress. Charter schools, however, offer significant promise for boosting student achievement—charter students are 7 to 15 percent more likely to graduate than students in traditional public schools. Moreover, several charter operators have good track records on turnarounds. The paper further explores how charters have participated in previous successful turnarounds and could increasingly continue to do so.