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Charter Schools in America

photoThe idea behind the charter school movement is simple: let local communities use public funds to start their own schools. And what started in a handful of states is now a nationwide phenomenon, attracting educators, parents and politicians looking for an alternative to failed public schools and government bureaucracy.

But according to a new national comparison of test scores among children in charter schools and regular public schools, most charter schools aren't measuring up. The Education Department's findings showed that in almost every racial, economic and geographic category, fourth graders in traditional public schools outperform fourth graders in charter schools. The study has rattled charter school proponents, while public school defenders are starting to crow "I told you so."

Are charter schools failing to make the grade? Tune in to hear about the charter schools' impact on education in America.

Guests:

Diana Jean Schemo, national education correspondent, New York Times

Meg Campbell, Head of School, Codman Academy, Dorchester, MA

Richard Rothstein, research associate, Economic Policy Institute, visiting professor, Teachers' College, Columbia University

This program aired on August 17, 2004. The audio for this program is not available.

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