This year marks the 25th anniversary of the nation’s first charter school law, which was passed in Minnesota on June 4, 1991. Today’s charter schools serve nearly 3 million students in more than 40 states across the country. In theory, charter schools receive greater flexibility to innovate in exchange for greater accountability for performance. Many charter schools have shown impressive outcomes for students—especially for low-income students in urban areas. Others continue to operate despite failing to serve students well. Charter school critics argue that disparities in discipline and admissions practices are masking the true performance of some charter schools while proponents argue that charter schools are one of the few promising practices for addressing intergenerational poverty. What are the facts? Who is right? And most importantly, how can we leverage the lessons learned over the past 25 years to improve all public schools?
Please join the Center for American Progress for a panel discussion about the lessons learned from the charter sector over the past 25 years, the future of the sector, and how to increase the number of high-quality public schools. Panelists will provide diverse perspectives on the effectiveness of the current charter school landscape and insight into what the future holds for charter schools.
Leo Casey , Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute
Richard D. Kahlenberg , Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation
David Osborne , Senior Fellow and Director of the Reinventing America’s Schools Project, Progressive Policy Institute
Shantelle Wright , Founder and CEO, Achievement Prep
Catherine Brown , Vice President of Education Policy, Center for American Progress