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ERIC Number: EJ1122101
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
The Charter Model Goes to Preschool
Mitchel, Ashley Libetti; Mead, Sara
Education Next, v17 n1 p36-43 Win 2017
Over the past 20 years, both charter schools and pre-kindergarten education have taken on increasingly prominent roles in the schooling of America's children. Charter schools in 43 states now serve more than 2.6 million students--roughly six percent of all students attending public schools. More than two-thirds of four-year-olds attend some form of public or privately funded preschool, with 1.4 million of them enrolled in statefunded pre-K programs. This growth is far from accidental. Research shows that high-quality preschool education has a lasting impact on children's school success, and in recent years, cities and states have moved to increase access to preschool programs. At the same time, demand for good charter schools has swelled, as the best of them have notched remarkable success on measures of student achievement. Moreover, it is low-income students who have reaped the greatest benefits from the growth of these two reforms. Most state pre-K programs target children in poverty, in hopes of narrowing the achievement gap, and research shows that charters produce the strongest results for disadvantaged youth. Yet recent research also suggests that neither high-quality charter schools nor pre-K alone may sufficiently level the playing field between children in poverty and their middle-class peers over the long term. This point raises an intriguing question: What happens if we combine high-performing charter schools with high quality pre-K education? Despite the challenges faced in most areas of the country, some charter schools offer high-quality pre-K programs that adapt the best assets of their distinctive models and cultures to meet the unique needs of young children and prepare them well for kindergarten. Their success stories offer lessons for both policymakers interested in expanding access to quality early learning, and for charter-school educators seeking to serve preschoolers.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; New York; District of Columbia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A