The Charter Idea
Charter schools began with the compelling purpose of transforming public education. A firm belief that withdrawing the exclusive franchise of school districts and establishing independent schools of choice would lead to results for kids.
Minnesota passed the first public school choice chartering law in 1991, effectively creating a new sector in public education. This landmark legislation blazed a trail for others to follow including 44 states, D.C., and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico.
While chartering celebrates 30 years of impact across nation, the idea that excellence knows no boundaries often is one that must be defended. Reporters, policymakers, and researchers continue to define the charter sector through ideology and misconceptions rather than through history and fact.
Those who stand in support of chartering must absorb the past as we propel toward the future. We must honor those pioneers who bravely took those first steps while preserving their hard-won lessons. We must continue to record our vibrant history as the evolving mission of inspiring excellence in education continues.