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Charter Schools and Public School Choice

School choice is increasingly the new normal in urban education. But in cities with multiple public school options, how can civic leaders create a choice system that works for all families, whether they choose a charter or district school? To answer this question, CRPE has been studying the opportunities and challenges in “”high-choice”” cities. We have interviewed civic and education leaders and surveyed parents to identify challenges like uneven school quality and lack of transportation. We’ve also studied ways cities can overcome barriers, such as unified enrollment and common accountability systems, to learn what works and what needs to be refined.

Charter schools offer the potential to create high-performing public schools in districts typically plagued by poor student outcomes. Too often, however, the charter school debate is marred by biased research and polemics. Like all important reform efforts, credible research and analysis must accompany innovation. To assess whether charter schools are fulfilling their mission, we rigorously evaluate their performance, costs, and ability to address unique student needs. New data and evidence help innovators across the country collaborate, communicate, and develop best practices.

A review: What we learned after 3 years of studying charters in Washington state

The pandemic prompted major shifts in public school enrollment and models for learning in the Pacific Northwest and across the nation. After three years, our study of these effects on Washington state’s charter schools has...

‘It really is a community.’ Parents say Summit charter schools pivoted well in the pandemic

As schools begin to move past the crises caused by the pandemic, Summit Public Schools in Washington state may have more bright spots than other school operators.

Shifting students: Pandemic-era enrollment changes present challenges and opportunities for Washington’s public charters

CRPE’s September 2022 brief, “Shifting students: A look at Washington State school enrollment from 2020 to 2022,” found that fewer students were enrolled in the state’s traditional public schools in 2021-22 than 2019-20, while enrollment...

Shifting students: A look at Washington State school enrollment from 2020 to 2022

As in other states, enrollment in Washington State’s public schools has shifted during the Covid-19 pandemic. This brief examines enrollment changes in Washington’s district, charter, private, and home schools from September 2019 to September 2021....

In Washington State, COVID-19 created a unique opportunity for charter-district collaboration

Charters and traditional schools are often portrayed as at odds with each other. But this collaboration shows that isn’t always the case—and it shows promise for the future.

How 18 top charter school networks are refining remote learning for the fall

18 leading charter school organizations are strengthening curriculum offerings and modifying schedules — although their plans are less detailed than districts’ on remote learning improvements or lessons learned from the spring.

Lessons from Remote Learning in Six School Systems

Since schools closed in March 2020, CRPE has tracked a sample of school districts and charter networks as they tried to reach students and provide instruction. This report looks more deeply into a smaller number...

Prepared remarks delivered to the House Education and Labor Committee

The following remarks were delivered to members of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee during a May 7 briefing on the impact of COVID-19. Chairman Scott, members of the committee, thank you for the...

Finding a Great Fit: Improving the School Choice Process for Students with Disabilities

Two briefs provide a summary of the special education landscape in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and offer recommendations for further steps that might be taken to strengthen the cities’ support structures for parents of...

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