Overview - Should Charter Schools Be More Different Than Alike? (HFR '08)

December 2008

Over the last three years, Hopes, Fears, & Reality has provided new evidence and analysis about what is going on in charter schools, how well they are doing, where they need to improve, and what can be learned from the research on these types of public schools. Past volumes have outlined how achievement studies should be conducted and interpreted, suggested how to achieve more effective public oversight of charter schools and how to eliminate barriers to growth, and presented nationwide trends in the number of charters opened and closed and the characteristics of these schools.

In this year’s edition, the National Charter School Research Project (NCSRP) brings new evidence to some of these past questions and turns to some new ones, including how charter school achievement varies across the sector, how the educational strategies used by charters differ from those used in traditional public schools, how charters are providing unique opportunities to diverse student populations, and how growth efforts should be responsive to constituent demands.