This debut edition of Hopes, Fears, & Reality provides new data on many aspects of charter schools in the United States. This chapter provides overview data of American charter schools based on surveys of state agencies and state charter associations. The chapter explores such questions as:
- Is the charter movement growing or slowing down?
- Do charter schools serve a greater or fewer number of disadvantaged students than traditional public schools?
- Are charter schools innovative?
The chapter also identifies areas in which record-keeping needs to be improved. For instance it is difficult to say anything definitive about charter per-pupil spending, the length of waitlists, or about instructional methods used in charter schools. These are significant issues that require further attention.