Time to rejuvenate New Jersey charter school law

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Charter schools were created on the premise that educators would be given the freedom to innovate in exchange for greater accountability, a heightened expectation of student achievement and the testing of ideas that could be incorporated into traditional public schools.

Since the New Jersey Legislature first created charter schools in 1995, they have met and often exceeded expectations for their academic performance, as well as student demand. Public charter schools serve more than 30,000 students in 87 schools.

According to state data, public charter schools are graduating nearly 94 percent of their students from high schools compared with the state’s overall high school graduation rate of 84 percent. Charter schools are succeeding in the toughest districts with the hardest-to-reach populations, and they are providing evidence that the achievement gap can be closed. The data on results speak volumes, but the 20,000 children on wait-lists speak even louder.

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