Charter schools aren’t mired in bureaucratic rules-which means they can create more room for teachers, school leaders, and parents to create and support a focus on learning. They can structure school for students, and their innovations can then be shared with other public schools, making them beacons of change.
Charter schools can offer longer school days and a longer academic year in order to get the most out of the educational calendar. Charter schools also set their own class size and teacher ratios, so teachers can give more one-on-one attention to each student.
Charter schools help to build greater involvement between schools and the communities they serve. Eighty percent of charter schools in Illinois have parents, community members, teachers, and civic leaders on their boards of directors. Charter schools also work to help local families find the school that best meets their needs.
In exchange for their increased autonomy, charter schools are held directly accountable to their local school board and to the State of Illinois for maintaining high academic standards.
Charter schools have risen to this challenge and are delivering strong results. For example: in 2011, nine of the 10 highest-scoring non-selective high schools taking the ACT in Chicago were charter schools, even though they make up less than 10% of the Chicago Public Schools population. Learn more about the academic record of public charter schools.