Although there was only one charter school in the country when Bill Clinton was first elected to the White House in 1992, the President wants to see 3,000 charter schools in operation by the year 2000 when he prepares to step down. His wish is coming true.
Barely six years old, charter schools have spread like a prairie fire since the first one opened in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1992. Now, 29 states and the District of Columbia allow charter schools, which numbered nearly 500 by the end of the 1996-97 school year, serving over 105,000 school children in 16 states plus the nation’s capital. Another 290 schools opened this fall and 69 more are approved to open.
To help charter school advocates and supporters keep up-to-date with this rapidly changing field, the Center for Education Reform has published The Charter School Workbook: Your Roadmap to the Charter School Movement, which provides a state-by-state review of where the charter school movement is, and where it might be headed. The 392-page Workbook includes a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of charter school legislation in each state, provides profiles on specific schools, reviews research findings, looks at startup and operational issues, and supplies a resource directory of state and national organizations.
“We call it a Workbook because we’ve designed it to be practical and useful, a handy reference for research, contacts, statistics and resources,” said Center for Education Reform president Jeanne Allen. “It offers, in one place, a roadmap to much of the hard work that’s being done in schools and states around the country.”
The Charter School Workbook: Your Roadmap to the Charter School Movement is available for $22 (plus $3 shipping and handling) from the Center for Education Reform, 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW #204, Washington, DC 20036; phone 202/822-900; Web http://www.edreform.com. The Center also publishes The National Charter School Directory ($9.95 plus $3 shipping and handling), a comprehensive contact listing of charter schools, including their mission, philosophy, and curriculum information.