The charter school movement is now more than 15 years old; yet charter schools serve just 3% of all American students. State and national political pressures have clearly played a role in limiting the growth of the movement through legislative caps and otherwise restrictive laws, but there are many other barriers to the expansion of high-quality charter schools.
To learn more about what those barriers are and how they might be removed, the National Charter School Research Project (NCSRP) and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools convened a meeting of leaders from charter school management organizations, school districts, and foundations in early 2006.
This report, High-Quality Charter Schools at Scale in Big Cities: Results of a Symposium, summarizes the meeting and provides concrete recommendations for those interested in creating a more hospitable environment for charter school growth in cities or nationwide. The report argues for building a coordinated infrastructure to support quality charter schools at scale, including concentrated investments, revised state laws, and collaboration to address leadership, training, human resources, and other common provider challenges.