Charter schools are innovative public schools designed by parents, teachers, community leaders, colleges, entrepreneurs or school districts. They are free to attend, as public schools are, but often seek and encourage greater community involvement in exchange for the opportunity to attend.
They operate with greater flexibility but agree to increased levels of accountability. They have the freedom to choose the methods and processes they think will best help them deliver results for students.
Publicly-funded charter schools are where individuals interested in creating educational opportunities turn. These opportunities can range from creating a haven for underprivileged students in low socioeconomic areas to excel in academia, to crafting a new learning environment that works collaboratively with parental involvement. Or as Renaissance Academy does, charter schools can choose to add intensive World Languages to the curriculum.
In return for the promise of academic success, charter schools receive autonomy and accountability—allowing them to focus their efforts on excellence rather than compliance. Given a three-to-five year time frame, charter schools are placed under the spotlight and forced to perform, threatened with closure if there is a lack of achievement.
When provided with a chance to test out new scholastic ideas, charters can design unique ways to approach and communicate effectively with their students. This means that Charter Schools are often using cutting edge educational philosophy and methodology, but also that Charter Schools can choose a “back to the basics” approach with classic curriculum or Socratic discussion pedagogy.