Fordham has been both an advocate of choice and an authorizer of charter schools serving some of Ohio's neediest students. This book describes and analyzes our efforts, successes and failures, and what we think it means for others committed to school reform.
The typical U.S. charter school lacks the autonomy it needs to succeed, once state, authorizer, and other impositions are considered. For some schools—in some states, with some authorizers—the picture is brighter but for many it's bleak. State-specific grades for charter autonomy range from A to F.
Despite the overall dismal performance of schools serving Ohio's poor, urban youngsters, there are a handful of schools that buck these bleak trends and achieve significant results for their students. This report examines eight of these schools.
More than 1.7 million American children attend what we've dubbed "private public schools"—public schools that serve virtually no poor students. In some metropolitan areas, as many as one in six public-school students—and one in four white youngsters—attends such schools, of which the U.S. has about 2,800.