ERIC Number: ED425896
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Charter Schools: An Approach for Rural Education? ERIC Digest.
Charter schools have emerged in the 1990s as a prominent and controversial school reform idea. This digest discusses characteristics of charter schools, tentative research findings, advantages and disadvantages, and implications for rural communities. Since 1991, 33 states and the District of Columbia have passed charter school legislation. An estimated 1,129 charter schools existed nationwide in September 1998, mostly in the South and West. Differences in state laws produce wide diversity in the organization, operation, and philosophies of charter schools. Recent studies funded by the U.S. Department of Education show that individual states vary widely in policies related to charter schools, that charter schools tend to be small, that parents tend to choose charter schools because of dissatisfaction with public schools, and that charter schools tend to have different grade configurations from other public schools. Charter schools are generally intended to produce high-performing students, but hard data on their effectiveness are lacking and results appear mixed. Arguments for and against charter schools are listed. Charter schools may offer educational alternatives to rural communities, which might set up schools that are community-based, educationally appropriate to local needs, innovative, accountable, and focused on student success. However, inadequate resources in many rural communities could cause problems. Community influences on a rural charter school's success are discussed. (Contains 21 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Charter Schools, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Experimental Schools, Institutional Characteristics, Rural Education, School Community Relationship, Small Schools
ERIC/CRESS, Appalachia Educational Laboratory, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325-1348; Web site: http://www.ael.org/eric/ (free).
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.