"Charter Public Schools: High Standards + Innovation = Results"
Published by the Illinois Network of Charter Schools
Charter schools are public schools first, serving the public interest.
- Charter schools are open to all, with no entrance exams.
- 35 charter public schools serve 17,000 public school students across Illinois.
Charter public schools are measured by the same academic standards as all other public schools, and they consistently exceed those standards.
- Over two-thirds of charter public school teachers are state-certified, while the remaining are drawn to charter public schools from all walks of life, with at least a bachelor's degree, five years of professional experience, and successful completion of state exames of basic skills and relevant subject matter.
- Charter public school teachers receive twice as much ongoing training as other public school teachers.
Charter public schools root their success in meaningful community engagement and
academic autonomy, which allows administrators and teachers to adapt curricula to meet student needs.
- Charter public schools are governed by non-profit boards of directors that include local parents, teachers, and community leaders who understand their needs.
- Charter public schools do not offer cookie-cutter approaches handed down from a central office, but are free to innovate and adapt.
- Charter public schools have a longer school day and longer school year, with 45 minutes more instruction a day and two weeks more instruction a year in Chicago.
- Charter public schools emphasize individual student attention, with an average of only 20 students per class.
- Charter public schools understand that learning is a complex process and teaching takes an integrated approach; you can’t attend to a student’s academic development without being aware of her or his physical, emotional and social development as well.
Despite a strong record of serving the public interest over the past decade, charter public
schools are still fighting for equal funding and an equal opportunity to serve students across Illinois.
- Charter public schools receive less funding per student than traditional public schools.
- There are almost 10,000 students on waiting lists for charter public schools, a number that is increasing every day.
- State law arbitrarily caps the number of charter public schools in Chicago.
- State law arbitrarily limits the areas of the state where communities can start their own charter public schools.
We’re not competing against traditional public schools, we’re preparing our kids to compete in a global marketplace.
- Charter public schools serve as beacons of innovation for the broader public education community; they are something that no school system should be without, but that will never replace traditional public schools.
- We believe that our core philosophy – greater emphasis on professional development for teachers, more classroom time, higher standards, student-centered teaching, and supporting innovative instruction – can and should be implemented in traditional public schools.