In Kitty Taylor's third-grade classroom at Hiawatha Leadership Academy, the pace is quick.
When Taylor hands students a math quiz, they have two minutes to finish before a timer goes off and they have to turn in their papers. Then they must snap to attention and move to the next task. "One, two, three, eyes on me," Taylor calls. "One, two, eyes on you," her students respond.
That's a tiny fraction of a very long day for the south Minneapolis charter school's nearly 400 students in kindergarten through fourth grade. Similar scenes are repeated across the nation in the some 5,000 charter schools that serve 2 million students.
This week, charter school officials will gather in Minneapolis to share notes and discuss the progress of the national charter school movement, which marks its 20th anniversary this year. The first charter school in the country, City Academy in St. Paul, opened in 1992 and is still in operation today.